Once the rain stopped this spring the Daviess County Highway Department was able to get busy and is now in the process of working on a number of projects. The Daviess County Commissioners received updates on several of those projects.

“We have had a great summer,” said Daviess County Highway Supervisor Phil Cornelius. “Things are moving forward.”

“We’ve got them busy,” added County Commissioners President Nathan Gabhart. “The weather has been pretty good. I know they are working in five or six townships throughout the county upgrading gravel roads to hard surface.”

That forward includes finishing work on phase III of CR 900E that is being done with federal dollars along with engineering and design work for phase IV of the road. The preparation work is completed for the $1.6 million upgrade to CR 1000N that will put down new pavement from Plainville to U.S. 231. There are also the projects around the county that are turning gravel into hard surfaces.

“We will have 14 miles of hard surface roads that were converted from gravel,” said Cornelius.

“Maintaining what we’ve got is great, but seeing those gravel roads turn black — there is no better feeling in the world,” said Gabhart.

The county is still working on a settlement on a plan to close part of CR 350N at the Daviess County Airport. The closing would allow the Airport Board to expand the length of the runway in the county to 6,001 feet. The county is engaging in talks between farm owners in the area, REMC and the airport officials. That project is expected to come back before the commissioners in a couple of weeks.

The commissioners had no formal report on the Daviess County Government Center. There were, however, some items regarding the building project. Because the county had fired its general contractor on the project, there were some concerns that it is not insured. The commissioners agreed to purchase about six months of Builder’s Risk insurance. Also related to the annex they agreed to purchase a building at 215 Fourth Street. The county had sought the property to expand its area for parking and possibly storage. The commissioners also reviewed a proposal to purchase another piece of property on the north side of the annex. That proposal was tabled for a later discussion.

The commissioners approved a proposal by the Daviess County Emergency Management Agency to seek a state grant. The grant comes from left over federal money that was being handled by the state. The money would have to be used for equipment for mass casualty events and for training officers on handling things like school shootings. The grant was for $9,448.87.

The commissioners approved a contract for Combined Communications that will give inmates at the county jail a way to rent devices that can be used to text with people outside of the security center. Sheriff Gary Allison says the inmates will be paying for the system that will also be used as part of an incentive inside the jail.

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