County closer to rebuilding highway garage

Montgomery County commissioners now know how much it will cost to replace the county highway garage destroyed by fire in November 2016. Commissioners received two bids that pleased local officials.

The lowest bid of $385,800 was from Gibson Commercial Construction of Indianapolis. The second bid received was from Ezra Industrial Construction of Crawfordsville. The bid amount was $393,730.

“Actually, the bids came in a little lower than what I expected,” County Building Administrator Marc Bonwell said. 

County Highway Director Jeremy Phillips agreed with Bonwell that both bids were acceptable.

Both bids contained options for other construction projects at the county highway site, such as remodeling the shop area. 

Commissioners plan to fund the construction project with insurance funds plus money  from the Cumulative Capital Development Fund.

Both bids were taken under advisement and will be presented to architect Steve Akers. He has been hired by commissioners to provide professional services for the project.

Commissioners expect to make a decision on the bids at its July 24 meeting.

Residents will soon see action at the Binford Street Office building. Commissioners entered into contracts with Fishero & Fishero to pave a new parking lot. The contract is in the amount of $10,699. Paving the lot, which will provide 30 parking spaces, will be completed by David Price Excavating.

During public comment three residents spoke about wind farms in Montgomery County. Two speakers, April Johnson and Patricia Southwood, presented information to commissioners regarding negative effects of wind turbines. Rick DeWitt spoke about the county’s present wind turbine ordinance.

Montgomery County Commissioner John Frey said there are issues with the present ordinance and in his opinion “would not stand up in court and is not worth the paper it is written on.”

Montgomery County Commission President Jim Fulwider said commissioners continue to look into wind farms and are reviewing the county’s ordinance.

In other business, commissioners approved:

• The re-establishment of the Cumulative Capital Development Fund tax rate to $.0333 per $100 of assessed value.

• Set the Cumulative Bridge Fund tax rate at $.10 per $100 of assessed value.

• Entered into a $14,775 contract with Fishero & Fishero to repair and patch sandstone on the county courthouse.