Commissioner Meeting Notes, Aug 3 and 17, 2022

Commissioner Meeting Notes, Aug 17, 2022.  2:00 p.m.

Indiana Hill RR Crossing – Update. The Railroad agreed to open the crossing to pedestrian and bicycle traffic.  They “estimated” a cost to the county of $155, 575.00 and added requirements that are not on other pedestrian trail crossings in Indiana and throughout the country.   Commissioner Biddle accepted this estimate without challenge.

Tony Abbott, President, of Knobstone Hiking Trail Association (KHTA), did challenge the premise of the estimate and provided examples and references supporting his argument that the pedestrian crossing could be re-opened at little expense (less than 2K which would signage).  He reinforced that KHTA was just asking the commissioners to sign an amendment to the road closure ordinance that identifies that their intent was to close the road BUT NOT the  pedetrain crossing that provided access to the Knowbstone Trail.   Commissioner Pittman stated that he agrees with allowing a pedestrian crossing.

Next Step?  Commissioner can vote on the amendment to the ordinance allowing a pedestrain crossing and access to the trail.

Commissioner Meeting Notes, Aug 3, 2022.  Commissioner Pittman was absent. 2:00 pm – 2:45.

Audio of the Meeting 44 minutes

Agenda commissioner meeting Aug 3 2022

Indiana Hill RR Crossing – Update.  38:10 mark on audio. Legal aspects still in the discussion phase. Commissioner Biddle provided a deed to the county attorney of the crossing and stated that per the deed, the RR owns 150 feet on both sides.  She also stated that she believes (no supporting evidence) that individuals coming within 50′ of the crossing would be committing trespassing on federal property because train right of way is considered federal.

Road Paving. 39:37 mark on audio. A citizen requested that Plum Creek Road be paved and requested some signage. The cost to pave a county gravel road is 300K a mile. To re-pave, a road costs over 100K a mile.

Helmsburg Sewer Projects.  Helmsburg Regional Sewer District (HRSD) board member Kyle Myers provided an update on several projects that the county is funding.

o. Helmsburg has bought additional property to support a plant expansion. They also received funding to extend the lines to cover two additional homes with the potential of adding additional customers.  However, given the demand for contractors, work may not begin until later in the year.

o. ARPA funds of 175K were approved previously by the commissioners to support repairs and a preliminary engineering report for upgrades. The HRSD is to provide invoices and the county will process the payments. Development of a preliminary engineer report has also been funded to identify requirements and costs for supporting an expansion to provide service to Lake Lemon and Bean Blossom.

o. The HRSD is also working on a grant to help reduce the monthly cost of sewer service from 92.50 a month.

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