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County highway chief awaiting paving check

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By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

Two roads eyed for improvement

PERRY COUNTY - A $900,000 check was "in the mail," Perry County Highway Superintendent Ed Feix was told Friday by a representative of the Indiana Department of Transportation, but it may or may not have been sent in time to refinish two roads before cold weather sets in.

"They're lining everything up," he said Monday, referring to the J.H. Rudolph Paving Co. "If we get a break in the weather, we might be able to slide it in."

If the forces of INDOT and nature line up properly, St. Isidore-Apalona and Bristow-St. Meinrad roads will get 2-inch overlays, Feix said. "I'd be tickled if we can just get one in."

"We're trying to get this thing done before wintertime," Feix told the county council at their regular meeting Oct. 23, "but we're just about to run out of time." He had received verbal confirmation from INDOT that the amount had been approved from the state's Distressed Road Fund, "but I'm not going to go out here and pave two roads (solely) on verbal (notification) from somebody."

He originally turned in a request for a loan from the fund in January and hoped to have it in time to perform work in April, but the paperwork languished in state offices since then, "and at this point, we haven't received a check," he told the council.

He asked the council to approve an additional appropriation for the money "providing, of course, that we get this check in time to do this. If we don't, nothing's going to be lost. It'll just be put off until next spring, ... then we'd reappropriate it."

The project's cost has dropped "thanks to asphalt prices going down because people didn't use much," Feix continued. "Next spring we know things are going to go back up."

The council approved his request.