The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

County Buys John Deere Road Grader

Joy Swearingen, Correspondent

The purchase of a used John Deere road grader was one of several actions taken by the Hancock County Board at its meeting Dec. 19, relating to needs of the county highway department.

The county has been leasing the 2010 John Deere motor grader from Martin Equipment since October, with an option to buy if they were satisfied with the grader. At the recommendation of County Engineer Elgin Berry, the board approved buying the grader for $106,200. With trade-in allowances for two used graders and the entire amount of the rental payments made, the county will have a final net payment of $80,450.

A new pick up is needed for the highway department after a truck was totaled in a deer collision. The board approved buying a Ford F-150 from Carson Motors Inc. in Carthage for $24,699. Since this was the second lowest bid by only a small amount, several board members stressed the importance of buying from a local dealership, and noted the convenience of having service done locally.

A resolution setting temporary weight restrictions on county roads was approved. It will be called into effect only if the county engineer determines it is needed during winter months.

The board appropriated $96,000 of Motor Fuel Tax money for the salary of the county engineer for the 2018 year. They approved using $600,000 in Motor Fuel Tax money for general maintenance of roads, including road aggregate, riprap, road salt, culverts, signs and other materials.

They approved $10,000 for pavement preservation on 4.77 miles of the Basco Road and 2.66 miles of the Bluff Road, and another $10,000 of county funds for pavement preservation to 8.3 miles of the Fountain Green Road, half a mile of the Durham Road and 3.06 miles of the Ferris Road.

The board agreed to the sale of property in LaHarpe acquired by tax deed, to ABW Auction for a minimum bid of $648.

The finance committee reported having interviewed Kristen Palmer for the position of Supervisor of Assessments. She meets qualifications and is scheduled for her final state test in January.

The board approved the multi-county Hazard Mitigation Plan that has been coordinated by Jack Curfman and the ESDA. The plan sets out ways that local agencies and municipalities can work together to reduce long-term risk from natural hazards and disasters.

Curfman reported to the county health committee about the cold water rescue team training that has been held, and another planned during the winter.

Health committee chairman, Janet Fleming, noted that the new EMS ambulance plan to phase out the BLS ambulance and keep an ALS unit in Warsaw was still being reviewed by the state.