Morgan County commissioners move forward with 300-car parking lot

The Morgan County Board of Commissioners and County Council decided late last year to build a 300-car parking garage on property just west of the County Administration Building in Martinsville.

On Monday evening, the commissioners signed an agreement with parties involved in building the parking lot as well as a security annex and a new office on the county fairgrounds.

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The security center will be built on the west side of the administration building and the proposed structure on the fairgrounds property will house several county agencies.

The cost of the three projects is estimated at approximately $14 million.

In an effort to cut costs, the county is using a new process called BOT which stands for Build Operate Transfer.

The county issues bonds to build the project. Due to the delay in issuing the bonds, the board approved the use of approximately $1 million from another account to pay for preliminary design work. The money will be returned to this account when the bonds are sold.

The signing of the agreements by the commissioner makes it possible to continue progress and to remunerate the DLZ designer for the work carried out in 2021.

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These claims will be reviewed by the county administrator before being paid.

The commissioners also approved the bond resolution.

In other cases

Commissioners dealt with a wide range of items during their meeting, including:

Allowing Morgan County Sheriff Rich Myers to apply for a $14,400 grant for body cameras and a $15,000 grant for a new K-9 for the department.

Approval of an agreement between the County Emergency Management Agency and the Green Township Fire Department to allow the department to store the county’s decontamination trailer at the township station.

Approved the 2022 contract with County Attorney Jim Wisco. Wisco will receive $34,000 for the year.

Approved an order authorizing the county’s surplus property auction scheduled for March 3.

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Approved the filing of a lawsuit against Bloomington Balloon Rides LLC for issues at last year’s Old Town Waverly Festival. The county paid the company $1,500 to take the hot air balloon rides. The company installed the balloon, but due to high winds it was unable to make trips. The department filed suit in Small Claims Court.

Approval of County Staff Manual changes to County Comprehensive Time Policy. The changes must now be submitted to the county council for approval.

The commissioners approved the granting to the town of Martinsville of four lots within the town limits. The lots were part of the county tax sale. One lot is on Southview Drive while the other three are inaccessible near Legendary Hills.

The commissioners approved an agreement that allows Parke County to use the county’s emergency ambulance while its ambulance is being repaired. Parke County had a fire at its EMS facility that damaged or destroyed much of its equipment. Morgan County is one of several counties that loan Parke County EMS equipment while their equipment is being replaced or repaired.

Commissioners approved a five-year lease/purchase agreement with PACCAR Financial to purchase two new trucks for the County Highway Department. The total cost of the two trucks is approximately $256,000.

Commissioners have given approval to advertise paving bids for several county roads.

County Engineer Tony Hinkle told commissioners he was preparing new standards for county roads. He said that once approved, the county would ensure that all newly built roads follow the same standards.

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The commissioners gave Hinkle permission to ask the council to fund a new position in the highways department. This position would be for a Trainee Engineer who would likely be a college student helping out with various county programs.

The next scheduled meeting of the Morgan County Board of Commissioners is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Monday, March 7 at the Morgan County Administration Building, 180 S. Main St., Martinsville.

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