Commissioners delay Ogden Road vote

By David Fenker

Laketon residents will still have at least one more week with the stop signs on Ogden Road at 200 West.

The Wabash County Board of Commissioners tabled a vote on an amendment to the 2012 ordinance that established the three-way stop just north of Laketon at its Nov. 13 meeting.

County Attorney Steve Downs presented the amendment to remove the stop signs on Ogden Road in response to County Highway Superintendent John Martin presenting a 47-signature petition at the commissioners' Nov. 6 meeting requesting that the stop signs be removed.

“I'd like to take some more time before we vote on this,” Commissioner Barry Eppley said.

Epply told the News-Journal that he wanted more information about the intersection before putting the amendment to vote.

“I've been contacted by some law enforcement that were questioning the removal of the stop signs, and I  want to get a further reading on the opinions [about the stop],” Eppley said.

“It's more convenient, I understand, to just drive through without stopping, but since there's a stop in place... I want to get it studied before we just remove it.”

The commissioners also heard from Wabash County resident Lisa Shanabarger, who has attended previous commissioners' meetings to discuss drug use in the county.

“I know we always have a jail overcrowding, and my concern and comment on that is, how many are drug related?” she said. “Jails and prisons do not help our addicts.”

Sheriff Bob Land said that between 44 and 47 percent of Wabash County inmates are being held on drug-related charges.

“Lisa's been in my office several times, and we do talk about drug treatment. [County probation officers] did get $26,200 for jail in-house treatment, and we are doing that program with our people in Miami County, the MRP program. So, we are doing what we can right now, and of course, as Lisa said, we will somewhere need to find the money for treatment centers,” Land said.

Chairman Scott Givens noted that the Wabash County Health Department is looking into grants for drug treatment.

Shanabarger also thanked the commissioners for their efforts to address her concerns.

In another matter, commissioners approved roadwork on Singer Road north of 1100 North.

Martin requested approval for a permit for the project from Eads and Son, who will replace an 18-inch tile under the road.

Martin also requested and was granted permission to take an additional appropriations request of $20,000 to the county council for equipment repairs, citing the need to repair the highway department's loader before winter.

Land provided the weekly jail report, saying that there are 82 inmates in the Wabash County Jail, with an additional 49 being held in Miami County, one in Elkhart County and one in Blackford County.

“Last week's average was 81.57; we had 14 new book-ins and five transports, and our peak population was 85,” he added.

Posted on 2017 Nov 14