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County moves ahead with water line

At Monday’s meeting, LaGrange County Commissioners moved to go ahead with the taking of bids for the water line extension from Fawn River to the former Multi-Plex building where Exo-s will be located. In order to stay on target for having water to the site by April 1, 2014, the bid must be awarded and money encumbered before December 31 of this year.

Casey Erwin, an engineer for DLZ Engineering, appeared at Monday’s meeting to “air out” some of the concerns relating to the project. Commissioners had stopped work on some parts of the project at their Nov. 4 meeting when a decision was made “to roll the dice” on a suggestion from Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) officials that installing a water line in the state right-of-way could place the county into a position of needing to move that utility should the state in the future decide to widen SR 9.

Erwin explained that there are numbers of potential things to consider on the project, including the fact that there are numerous utilities already buried in this right-of-way that will need to be avoided in the construction process. “There are places it will be very tight,” Erwin stated. In addition, it was pointed out that the terrain is far from level and water line installation will be quite difficult in front of the motel and Lund Industries.

A 20 ft. easement with some additional construction easement will be sought from eight property owners. Some property owners have indicated they will be willing to grant the easement at no cost. However, the process demands that an appraisal of the easements be made and to that end Deb Lambright was appointed to make those estimates.

DLZ was authorized to prepare bid documents with specifications indicating the water line will be constructed in the INDOT right-of-way. An alternate installation site of an easement from property owners will also be included with potential contractors entering a possible deduction for the construction in an easement. Bids are expected to be received and awarded at the commissioners’ December 30 meeting.