GOSHEN — The Elkhart County Highway Department is closing out construction projects, buying new vehicles and getting ready for its next series of road improvements.
The Elkhart County Board of Commissioners approved six requests of more than $100,000 from the highway department Monday, Jan. 13.
Construction on the Simonton Street bridge and the project’s inspection were $101,215 less than what the county had expected. The extra money was returned to the county’s cumulative bridge fund.
More than $200,000 was added back into the county’s economic development income tax, or EDIT, fund after finishing construction on C.R. 17 between C.R. 32 and C.R. 38.
The commissioners approved an additional appropriation for $200,000 related to an annual request for funds used for smaller scale capital improvement projects. The money also supplements shortfalls on road and bridge projects. Another $75,000 was approved to allow the highway department to pay for traffic signal upgrades. The highway department plans to use $30,000 for surveying work on the stretch of C.R. 17 between C.R. 40 and C.R. 142 and on C.R. 40 from C.R. 17 to Waterford Street. The highway department wants to set aside $75,000 to design improvements at the C.R. 38 corridor. With $300,000, the department plans to buy two single-axle dump trucks to replace a pair of aging trucks in its fleet. These five additional appropriations will be taken from the county’s EDIT account.
The commissioners approved $185,000 for the highway department to buy a new loader that will be used at one of the county’s four salt barns. The funds will come from the county’s local road and street account.
The highway department plans to use $140,000 from the cumulative bridge fund for repairs to bridges based on inspections. Many of the projects, such as replacing decks and guardrails, typically cost between $2,000 and $10,000, highway manager Jeff Taylor told the commissioners.
Last, the highway department requested $185,000 from the motor vehicle highway fund — $90,000 for three tractors, $40,000 to supplement the request to buy dump trucks from the EDIT account and $55,000 for a skid steer. The funds for the three tractors were approved in 2013, and the equipment was purchased, but they were not delivered and invoiced until late December after the deadline for invoices to be paid from the 2013 budget, according to Taylor.