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By KEVIN KOELLING
TELL CITY – Perry County’s commissioners approved an insurance change and construction ground-monitoring contract and learned about a needed appointment at a regular meeting Oct. 7.
VSP vision-insurance company of Frisco, Texas is implementing “a slight increase for next year and 2015; this is a two-year renewal,” County Auditor Connie Berger told them. County employees pay for their own coverage, she added, and two-year renewals have been standard in recent years.
“Has everyone been pretty satisfied with that service?” Commissioner Tom Hauser asked, eliciting a “yes” from Berger.
County Administrator Teresa Kanneberg offered a proposal from Earth Exploration of Indianapolis to monitor an area where Old Indiana 37 is undergoing repairs after a slide.
“As you’re aware, the (U.S. Department of Agriculture) Forest Service has currently suspended all construction out there because of the lapse in government funding,” she said. “But hopefully it will resume soon, and when it does, it’ll be important to have this in place.”
The Forest Service issued a special-use permit for the work since the highway runs through the federally owned Hoosier National Forest. An Oct. 2 letter from acting Forest Supervisor Constance Cummins instructs the commissioners that permit “has been temporarily suspended due to the recent lapse in federal government funding.
Accordingly, we request that all construction and ground-disturbing activities on (Forest Service) land cease until further notification.”
The letter continues, “our permit administration staff has been placed on furlough and consequently they are unable to monitor or provide oversight during the construction.”
The company’s fee for the geotechnical-monitoring service won’t exceed $5,500, Kanneberg also said, adding the Indiana Department of Transportation has approved 80-percent funding for it and county attorney Chris Goffinet had reviewed the contract.
Kanneberg said she overlooked the expiration June 30 of a Perry County Airport Authority position held by Dave Ward.
“It’s a four-year term and a Republican position,” she said, suggesting the commissioners schedule the appointment for their Nov. 19 meeting. Anyone interested in seeking the position should submit a letter of interest to Kanneberg by Nov. 12.
County Councilman Stan Goffinet was in the audience and asked about the condition of Spring Road. Running from the east end of Tell Street to Indiana 237, it narrows to barely more than one lane in places.
County Councilman Stan Goffinet was in the audience and asked about the condition of Spring Road, which runs from the east end of Tell Street to Indiana 237.
“I went to the hospital groundbreaking,” Goffinet said, referring to construction along Indiana 237 of a new Perry County Memorial Hospital, “and on my way back, I took Spring Road.”
It occurred to him, he said, “there’s going to be a lot of people taking Spring Road to the new hospital, and it’s almost an accident waiting to happen, because the road is very narrow. I don’t know if you’ve thought about improving that road. I don’t know if anybody has ever thought anything about it, to tell you the truth. If somebody’s going to get to the hospital, they’re going to go fast. They’re going to take the shortest route, and it’s going to be Spring Road.”
“It’s just food for thought,” Goffinet added. “I’m not asking you all to do anything, but it could be a potential liability for the county.”
The road is not slated for improvement, Hauser said, “and I think it would cost a fortune.”
“I know it would,” replied Goffinet, who as a councilman keeps tabs on county spending.
Hauser said the commissioners could raise the issue with County Highway Superintendent Ed Feix.