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An Elkhart County highway crew puts new chip and seal on C.R. 37 south of S.R. 4 on Monday, Aug. 12. The Elkhart County Highway Department is exchanging surplus materials to a local company for services. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

Tadd Troxell, Elkhart County Highway Department crew leader, pushes dirt with a bulldozer as the highway department gets part of the Six Span Public access site ready for landscaping on May 20, 2011. The Elkhart County Highway Department is exchanging surplus materials to a local company for services. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

An Elkhart County highway crew puts new chip and seal on C.R. 37 south of S.R. 4 Monday, Aug. 12. The Elkhart County Highway Department is exchanging surplus materials to a local company for services. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)
Highway department barters with surplus supplies
Posted on Nov. 18, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Nov. 18, 2013 at 3:54 p.m.

GOSHEN — The barter system is alive and well at the Elkhart County Highway Department.

Highway manager Jeff Taylor has been “doing some house cleaning” lately, but instead of selling off extra supplies, he plans to do something a little out of the ordinary. The Elkhart County commissioners voted Monday, Nov. 18, to allow Taylor to negotiate with Beer and Slabaugh Inc. to trade extra materials stored at the highway department’s New Paris garage for services and equipment rental.

Beer and Slabaugh, a contractor from Nappanee, has offered to take the highway department’s stockpile of pea gravel in exchange for a two-week rental of a small bulldozer. The company has proposed processing asphalt millings for the highway department for an assortment of metal pipes.

Taylor told the commissioners that extra guardrails from road projects have piled up at the New Paris garage, and even though they are in good condition, he does not have use for all of them.

“A little bit is OK, but it looks like a junkyard down there,” Taylor said.

Beer and Slabaugh has agreed to trade $10,000 in services or rental for the guardrails.

Roughly two dozen other items will be sold at local auctions, Taylor said. The list includes tables, a generator, lumber, fencing, space heaters, a wood stove and garage door openers among other supplies.