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County changes letter of credit provider

County commissioners voted to change the provider of a standby letter of credit from Wells Fargo Bank to Farmers State Bank in a year-end business meeting Dec. 29. The change was prompted by an abrupt and very large increase in the fee for the document.

Wells Fargo had been charging a fee of $5,000 per year for a standby letter of credit in the amount of $972,000. This letter is on file with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assure that the county has the ability to finish the financial requirements for closing the LaGrange County Landfill. This 30-year closure agreement has now passed 13 years.

The charge for the renewal of the agreement with Wells Fargo called for a fee of $25,000. Farmers State Bank agreed to supply the letter for $12,500.

Included with the agreement is a credit reimbursement agreement.

LaGrange County Information Technology Director Bob Murphy told commissioners he will be meeting with Elkhart County officials in January to continue discussions that may lead to LaGrange County receiving telephone service through a system handled by Elkhart County. “If we decide to go with this system, there will be considerable savings,” Murphy stated.

A contract was awarded to Shetler Construction for repair of visible damage to interior walls at the animal shelter for $3,268. “We anticipate there is more damage that cannot be seen and we will need to address that as we come to it,” said Commission Chair George Bachman. Pete’s Construction of Wolcottville also placed a bid on the work.

Other recent work at the animal shelter was completed by Bill Mains Excavating at a cost of $3,322.55. “This was an emergency temporary repair to the wetland septic disposal system that had to be taken care of immediately,” said Commissioner Larry Miller.

Miller indicated that the wetland system will need to be replaced in the spring.

Commissioners agreed on commissioner appointments to a number of boards for 2012. President George Bachman will serve on the Council on Aging Board, Emergency Management Agency Advisory Board, LaGrange/Noble County Joint Drainage Board, County Sewer District Advisor, Redevelopment Commission, EDIT Committee, NEI Investment Board, and Human Resource Committee.

Commissioner Larry Miller will serve on the Plan Commission, Extension Board, Local Emergency Planning Committee, Plat Committee, Soil and Water Conservation District Board, Economic Development Board, and Insurance Liability Committee.


Commissioner Garry Heller will serve on the Drug Free LaGrange County Board, LaGrange/Noble County Joint Drainage Board, Steuben/DeKalb/LaGrange Drainage Board, Legal Expense Review Committee, Northeast Indiana Solid Waste District Board, Park Board, Region III-A Board, Major Moves Committee, and Health Board.

All three commissioners serve on the LaGrange County Drainage Board.

Martin Franke was appointed as the LaGrange County representative to the St. Joseph River Basin Commission.