Published On: Thu, Jun 15th, 2017

Cell phones, bridges top County agenda

CENTER — Cellphones were part of the discussions during the June 8 Knox County Supervisor meeting.
Sheriff Don Henery talked to board members about a new pager system being used by first responders and laws enforcement in several communities across Knox County.
Cellphones are currently being used on a trial basis according to Henery.
The first responders can use their personal phone for the paging system. A text is sent to the first responder or an app can be downloaded if they have a Smartphone.
“Paging systems as we know it will no longer exist within a short time,” Henery said. “Nothing is perfect. This is a large county and it is hilly. The reception is not good in a lot of areas across the county.”
Henery has already ordered new iPhones for the deputies in Knox County.
Hwy. Supt. Kevin Barta also talked to board members about ordering new smart phones for some of the road workers.
Barta said he would be checking into the cost of the phones.
Board members agreed to have Chairman James Sokol, Jr., sign paperwork to move ahead with a Federal Aid Bridge project north of Verdigre where a steel truss bridge will be replaced.
The estimated cost for the preliminary environmental and engineering services will be $114,200.
The total cost for the project could be close to $2 million, according to Barta.
Funds for the project will be 80 percent Federal and 20 percent State.
“This is a huge project,” Barta said. “Knox County won’t have to pay for any of the project. The payments will be made from federal and state funds.”
The county bridge crew is working north of Wausa, Barta said.
“Both of the abutments are done. The crew will be moving up northeast of Bloomfield to start on a bridge project,” Barta said.
The oil crew is working south of Crofton on “old Hwy. 121.”
“It is going good. It has been kind of dry in that area,” Barta said.
Repairs are being made on a pickup truck used by the road department’s mechanic and the broom used by the oil crew.
Board members reviewed the monthly building permit report for May, submitted by Zoning Administrator Liz Doerr.
The number of permits has been down compared to other years according to Doerr.
“During the last few years the number of applications for permits is less than previous years. I think it is the sign of our economy right now,” Doerr said. “When the price of corn was up, we had a lot more bins going up.”
The May report included permits for one home, five home additions, three garages, one garage addition, three storage shed, one barn, and three machine sheds.
The monthly report also included a permit for storage units. Calvin and Diane Krupicka permit was for Adventure Inn, which is located in Sparta Twp.
The May permits included a total valuation of $783,500.
The year to date total valuation came in at $86,371,480.