A combined meeting of county commissioners and county council members approved the rebuilding of CR 200N from CR 675W to CR 450W. The project includes about 0.12 miles along CR 500W where the road meets 200N and the blacktopping of CR 450W north from 200N to 300N.
The motion to adopt the project was made by Commissioner Garry Heller with a second from Councilman Richard Yoder. The motion passed 9 to 1 with Councilman Ben Taylor voting no. Taylor said he voted no because of the procedure used in bringing the proposal to the meeting. “I favor the project. You’ll note that I was active in passing a funding method,” he said.
A motion to fund the project with a $2 million bond to be repaid with Economic Development Income Tax (EDIT) dollars and up to $900,000 to come from the Major Moves fund was made by Councilman Michael Strawser and seconded by Councilman Ben Taylor. The motion was unanimous.
County Highway Superintendent Jeff Brill noted that the project has been discussed for about eight years, during which time the road has continued to get worse.
The project will wedge and level/resurface from CR 675W to the first small hill just east of the curve with 10 ft. lanes and a 2 ft. stone shoulder. There will be full depth asphalt and hill correction in the area of the first hill east of the curve with 10 ft. lanes and a 2 ft. stone shoulder. The project continues with wedge and level/resurface from the first hill east of curves to Pallet One with a 10 ft. driving lane and 2 ft. stone shoulder. Continuing east, there will be full depth replacement and hill corrections from Pallet One to CR 450W with 11 ft. lanes and a 1 ft. asphalt shoulder.
Costs for the project are set at $2.65 million for CR 200N and $150,000 for surfacing of CR 450W to CR 30. Councilman Ryan Riegsecker urged the surfacing of this road so that many school children will be able to travel to Valley Line School without being on CR 200N.
It was pointed out that there are about 150 jobs in this two-mile stretch of road plus three large farming operations. Resident Ervin Miller said, “Let’s not kill a child before we act.”
Another local resident, Steve Raber, suggested that “if we are going to do it, do it right.”
Estimates for the project were furnished by Structure Point Engineering. Another project considered would have cost an additional $500,000 or $600,000. It would have provided for wider shoulders and additional paving of shoulders.