KOSCIUSKO — Kosciusko County Coroner Tony Ciriello requested permission to move forward with a mutual aid agreement at the Kosciusko Commissioners meeting held Tuesday, Sept. 18.
According to Ciriello, the agreement is with Laporte and St. Joseph counties for manpower and equipment through the coroner’s office in case of a mass casualty incident or a natural disaster that could result in massive fatalities.
“St. Joe County has the largest supply of the things we would need for disaster response than anybody else in the state,” said Ciriello.
Commissioner President Bob Conley stated, “Anytime we can help each other out, especially in those types of situations, it makes sense to do that,” adding that the agreement would be in the best interest of the community. Commissioners unanimously approved Ciriello’s request.
Area Planning Director Dan Richard presented a road vacation request, informing commissioners that the APC voted 7-1 to recommend denial of the request. The petition was submitted by Monica Weigand, who is asking for a portion of a 24-foot wide platted roadway between 11140 and 11136 North Ideal Beach Drive in Turkey Creek Township to be vacated. This is located in the Lake Wawasee area.
Because a fence was built in the right of way years ago, an encroachment agreement was reached in 2003 with county commissioners stipulating the fence could not be moved any further into the right of way. Questions have been raised as to whether the fence has been moved in violation of the encroachment agreement.
Steve Snyder, an attorney representing Weigand, said the property owner wants a clear title to be able to sell the property, including owning the fence and an additional 1 foot on the other side.
Snyder acknowledged that questions have been raised as to exactly where the fence was located at the time the encroachment agreement was signed in September of 2003.
“There’s been a statement made that it was relocated,” said Snyder. “Both the property owners and I don’t believe that it was. It was upgraded to a vinyl fence instead of a wood fence that needed repair, but I don’t think the location of it has changed, even though Jerry Lessig’s survey would indicate that’s what occurred.”
After much discussion, Commissioner Brad Jackson made a motion.
“The motion is that we go off of the Lessig survey for the vacation and enter into an encroachment agreement for the fence to remain. If that fence comes down, then we’ll have to go back to the original encroachment agreement.”
Conley seconded the motion, with Commissioner Vice-President Cary Groninger abstaining.
Commissioners approved a request by County Highway Superintendent Scott Tilden to apply for the 2018 Community Crossings match grant fund in the amount of $ 2,220,125.40 for resurfacing and repaving projects. INDOT will match up to $1 million.
In other news, commissioners:
- Approved title sheets for the 2018 phase I county bridge inspection for bridges that span over 20 feet.
- Set a bid date for 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, for the annual county highway supplies.
- Signed a 2019 nonprofit agreement related to the 3 percent increase.
- Received a plaque from Assistant Planner Matt Sandy.
- Signed a letter for NIPSCO affirming resolution and conclusion of the Topeka Project county road damage. NIPSCO paid the county $80,000 for damages. Commissioners also signed a document releasing NIPSCO from a bond.
- Approved a request by Richard to issue a moratorium preventing any wind farms from being approved until an amended ordinance takes effect in October.
- Approved Shankster Brothers to rezone the property from agricultural to commercial on Jefferson Street, south of Sycamore Street just outside of Silver Lake.
- The next regular meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2.