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Landfill monitoring contract approved


County commissioners approved a contract for the post-closing monitoring of the LaGrange County Landfill at Monday’s meeting. The contract is with Strand Engineering, which is a successor to Sieco Engineering. Sieco has worked for the county in the capacity of monitoring landfill leeching since the landfill was closed.

Strand will earn $31,000 in each of the three years of the contract.

Commissioners also affirmed the appointment of Fred J. Brown to the LaGrange County Economic Development Commission. He will serve a four-year term.

Brown was appointed to this board to replace Dr. Larry Phillips, who chose not to seek re-appointment to the board. After reorganizing for the year, this board will meet only on call to address requests for county economic development bonds. There have been no requests for a number of years.

A contract with First Group of Indianapolis was approved to help the county with a self-evaluation and transition plan regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act. The LaGrange County Council appropriated the money for this contract last week.

After a long discussion, commissioners agreed to approve a request from Greg Johnson to apply for a grant from the State of Indiana Tobacco Settlement Fund. LaGrange County will be the administrative agency named in the grant to promote the non-use of tobacco products.

Johnson’s grant proposal asks for $39,192 for Steuben County, $53,445 for DeKalb County, $61,119 for Noble County, and $49,671 for LaGrange County over the two years to be covered by the grant. The grant request also calls for an annual salary for the director of $53,600. The current salary is $39,500 annually.

The proposed grant does not include any allowance for an administrative fee.

Commissioners noted they will be very reluctant to approve the adoption of a county-wide non-smoking ordinance in any building where the public is allowed. This is one of the objectives outlined in the ordinance.

LaGrange County Clerk Bonnie Brown was given approval to proceed with her plan to buy four desks and two tables with a purchase range of $2,700 to $3,300. Brown will be narrowing the vendors down prior to asking the county council for an additional appropriation to cover the costs associated with her project.

A resolution was passed that will allow county employees to choose between two deferred compensation plans. The current plan allows for only a pre-tax contribution and the additional offering is for a post-tax contribution. The option will be made available to county employees very soon.

Commissioners noted that another lawsuit has been filed against the LaGrange County Health Department regarding the Shipshewana West sewer project and the county regional utility district. “The last suit of this nature cost the county some $3,200 in legal fees,” noted Commissioner President Jac Price.

LaGrange County Highway Superintendent Jeff Brill received approval from commissioners on his 2012 annual operations report. Brill said that the bridge on CR 700S will be replaced this summer. Beers and Slabaugh of Nappanee will be in charge of the project.