LAGRANGE — The LaGrange County Commissioners voted to deny a request made by a Big Long Lake homeowner asking the county to vacate a road deemed to be public/private that runs behind his property on Big Long Lake.
Homeowner Cletus Schenkel asked the county to vacate a portion of the road that runs behind his property, saying he wanted it vacated to protect his property from damage. But several of his neighbors, including the owners of Gordons Campground, which also adjoins the road, objected.
Staff members, from the county surveyor to the engineer, urged the commissioners not to grant the request. LaGrange County attorney Kurt Bachman, who acts as the commissioners’ legal advisor, cautioned the commissioners to not grant the request, saying they simply don’t have the jurisdiction to grant such a request.
“This is not the proper venue,” Bachman told the commissioners.
In other matters, the commissioners approved several new ordinances that Bachman described as “year-end housecleaning.” One of those ordinances re-established the county’s Building Department and set a new set of fees and fines for that office.
A similar ordinance re-establishing the county’s Health Department also was approved.
Another ordinance allowed the county’s maintenance department to prepay $30,621 to an elevator company it hired to come this month and start making repairs to two of the county’s elevators.
The commissioners also approved a new ambulance service agreement with Parkview that saw the county’s monthly contribution climb from $10,000 a month to $18,000 a month.
The commissioners also approved a request from the LaGrange County Circuit Court to purchase four new desks for court staff at a cost of $3,110.
Beth Sherman, the soon-to-be retired executive director of the LaGrange County Chamber of Commerce introduced the commissioners to her replacement, Sarah Patrick.
The commissioners also approved a LaGrange County Parks and Recreation Department request asking permission to apply for a Parkview grant. That money would be used to help update and rebuild the department’s disk golf course at Delt Church Park. The commissioners also gave the parks department permission to hire Sanderson Drilling to drill a new water well at the park. The parks department also was permitted to participate in an upcoming auction held by a vendor and allowed to spend up to $5,000 to purchase new archery targets.
The commissioners also approved a maintenance department request to spend $7,260 to purchase and install three new bulletproof drawers in the treasurer’s office.
The commissioners also denied a request that would have allowed a homeowner on Rainbow Lake to keep a horse on a property smaller than the minimum required. The request had already been given a no vote by the county’s board of zoning appeals.
By a 2-1 margin, the commissioners voted to switch an 80-acre section of land near Valentine from industrial to agricultural.
The commissioners approved a LaGrange County Highway Department request to accept a bid of $249,950 to micro-surface several miles of county roads. The winning bid was awarded to Pavement Solutions, a Middletown, Indiana company.
The commissioners approved a new annual agreement with Purdue University to provide LaGrange County with an extension service office. They also approved a request by Par-Gil to modify its parking lot to be ADA compliant.
The commissioners then approved giving the Howe Fire Department an aging Sheriff’s office truck that was used by the department’s former dive team.