Wayne County Highway Department to apply for roadwork, traffic safety grants

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RICHMOND, Ind. — The Wayne County Highway Department will apply for state money to help chip and seal roads this year, and the Wayne County Sheriff's Office will try and use state money to make those roads safer.

Highway Superintendent Mike Sharp appeared before the Wayne County commissioners Wednesday morning and at the council/commissioners workshop Wednesday evening to receive permission to apply for the Indiana Department of Transportation Community Crossings grant. The county usually uses the program for bridges repairs and replacements.

Sharp said the county could apply to receive up to $250,000 that pay for 50% of the project costs. The county match would come from the highway department's bituminous and stone budget line item, he said.

The grant process could fund about 16 miles of the about 30 miles in chip-and-seal projects planned for 2022.

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The commissioners and the council members unanimously approved applying for the grant and releasing highway department funds for the required match.

Commissioners also unanimously approved Sheriff Randy Retter applying for an annual traffic safety grant.

They had previously asked Retter for more information about whether the county pays Public Employee Retirement Fund and Federal Income Contributions Act payments on the overtime pay officers receive through the grant program. Retter said Wednesday that the county has previously covered those payments, but he has asked if grant funds could be used for that purpose if patrol hours are reduced.

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Retter said the Wayne County Sheriff's Office has received thousands of dollars in equipment, such as breath tests and traffic radars, through the program and the patrols improve safety on county roads.

Records digitization

The county continues to explore moving the Wayne County coroner's storage area into the courthouse basement.

Estimates are being received for renovation work and equipment Coroner Kevin Fouche listed as necessary for the move. The coroner currently has office space in the courthouse basement, but the storage facility is in the U.S. 40 building used by Centerville Police Department.

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One byproduct of that move would be the necessity of moving some documents the clerk stores in the basement. During the workshop, commissioners and council members discussed prioritizing digitation of those documents.

Clerk Debbie Berry in July approached commissioners about the scanning and digital storage of old records. She had a $975,000 estimate for 7.65 million pages to be scanned and stored.

Commissioners and council members reached a consensus Wednesday that pursuing the digitization project is necessary.

In other actions:

  • Commissioners voted to vacate two unused alleys in Webster.

  • Commissioners reappointed Carol Pentecost and John Martin to the Wayne County Contractual Public Library Board.

  • Council reappointed Bob Chamness to the Eastern Indiana Regional Planning Commission board.

This article originally appeared on Richmond Palladium-Item: Wayne County to apply for roadwork, traffic safety grants

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