County, Roann seek grant to demo old Roann school

By David Fenker

Wabash County has formally agreed to seek a $350,000 grant to tear down the old Roann school building.

The Wabash County Board of Commissioners signed a resolution at its Monday, Aug. 7, meeting declaring their intent to seek a grant through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) with the Town of Roann, with Roann being the lead applicant on the grant.

Roann Clerk-Treasurer Bob Ferguson addressed the commissioners at their April 24 meeting regarding the grant, which is through the OCRA Blight Clearance Program. At that meeting, the commissioners agreed to become joint owners of the property and apply for the OCRA grant, provided that Roann pass an ordinance stating that the town would be the lead applicant.

The grant requires a minimum local match of 10 percent of the total amount applied for. The resolution states that the county will provide $30,882 in matching funds, with the town providing $15,441 to exceed the minimum match.

According to County Auditor Marcie Shepherd, the total cost of the project is more than $410,000.

The commissioners unanimously passed Resolution 2017-85-05 with no further discussion on the matter.

The commissioners also approved Resolution 2017-85-04, which officially modifies the county’s employee handbook to better comply with state statutes regarding overpayment of employees.

At last week’s meeting, County Attorney Steve Downs informed the commissioners that the county’s policy was to correct overpayments by deducting the overpayment amount in the following paycheck.

State statute, he said, only allows for up to 25 percent of the employee’s take-home pay to be deducted.

The commissioners also unanimously approved this resolution with no further discussion.

Additional news from the commissioners’ meeting included approval for more than $28,000 in road striping expenses and the weekly jail report.

County Highway Superintendent John Martin asked the commissioners for approval to restripe three roads, for a cost of $28,742.67: Old U.S. 24 from U.S. 24 to 800 West; Meridian Road from North Manchester town limits to 1500 North; and Old State Road 15 from Wabash City limits to LaFontaine town limits.

Martin said that the new stripes will be done with regular road paint.

Sheriff Bob Land provided an unofficial report, saying that there were 90 inmates in the Wabash County Jail, with an additional 36 being held in Miami County, six in Elkhart County and seven in Wells County.

Land also said that there are four doors in the Wabash County Jail that need repairs, and that his department received a quote from a San Antonio, Texas – based company for $4,410, provided that they can find the parts.

“It’s getting harder and harder to find the parts for these doors,” Land said.

“They’re not sure if they can come up with parts, but they’re going to look.”

The commissioners approved the repairs.

Posted on 2017 Aug 08