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Courthouse sprucing up continues

As new windows are being fitted into the LaGrange County Courthouse this week, the county commissioners approved a request to continue to improve the overall aesthetics of the courthouse.

Gary Mast requested approval to install vinyl “privacy” fencing up at four locations around the courthouse, replacing the current chain-link fencing that is there. Mast said the industrial grade fencing would look very nice in place of the metal fencing, hiding some of the mechanical pieces that sit outside.

The quote from Eastside Vinyl of Topeka was for $5,258. However, the company will give a discount, lowering the cost to $5,000, if all four sections are done at one time.

The commissioners approved doing all four sections. The funding will come from the county’s 2013 maintenance fund.

In other business:

 The commissioners approved the 2014 agreement with Northeast Indiana Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). The funding from the county will help the organization receive matching funds from the state, the commissioners were told.

The commissioners tabled action on accepting bids for a piece of county property along Cedar Lake. The commissioners have asked the LaGrange County Parks Board to give their input.

However, the park board is not scheduled to meet again until January 23. The commissioners were told that the county must take action on the bids within 30 days from the date the bids were opened, which would be January 26.

Commissioner Jac Price asked if the park board would consider having a special meeting prior to the commissioners’ January 20 meeting to give them time to consider any recommendation.

The commissioners turned down a request to reconsider the county’s vehicle policy that would allow non-county employees to drive county vehicles, specifically county extension employees and parks board members.

The commissioners approved a covenant for the building that houses the Council on Aging and other organizations just east of SR 9 on US 20 (the former Bir Hotel). The area has been the site of soil remediation for several years. The covenant is the start of closing out the remediation and would require that those properties in the area not use groundwater for anything that could be for human or animal consumption. The commissioners felt that since the building is on the city’s water supply, there would be no need for them to drill a well or use groundwater at that location.

The commissioners approved a quote of $25,875 for a new parks department truck from LaGrange County Dodge. They also approved the purchase of a new lawn mower for the parks department from Filmore Equipment for $4,000. Parks Director Mike Metz told the commissioners that due to new EPA regulations they expect the price of mowers to increase by 25 percent in 2014, and therefore wanted to get a 2013 model while they could.

It was announced that the parks department has received several grants, including two for the Juday Property, totaling $285,000, and a $200,000 grant for Dallas Lake property.