County News_logoThe Marshall County Highway Department will be getting a new paver for the upcoming paving season.

During Monday’s County Council meeting Supervisor Jason Peters and Commissioner Kurt Garner told members the current paver is in need of substantial repairs.  Peters said they brought the 17 year old paver into the shop to get it ready for the season and the mechanics found several issues including a major one, replacement of the screed with heated end gates.  Peters secured a quote for the screed with heated end gates from Rudd Equipment.  The needed replacement parts are over $89,700 without the labor cost.

Peters went a step further and secured an opinion from a licensed mechanic from E & B Paving.  His estimate was $50,000 for parts and labor with an estimated 700 hours of labor utilizing three employees.  Peters said he noted that paver is no longer being manufactured so replacement parts may not be available.

The County Highway Supervisor looked into renting a paver and found rental costs to be between $15,000 and $17,000 a month while used pavers run in the neighborhood of $200,000 to $250,000 if you can find one in Indiana or the surrounding states.

Jason Peters secured two estimates for new pavers, from MacAllister Machinery Co, the Caterpillar dealer and Rudd Equipment Company, the Volvo dealer.

Commissioner Kurt Garner told the Council that MacAllister does offer a financing program.  Their proposal was for 7 years at $42,500 annually.  He noted that there is no penalty for early pay-off and if after two years, the annual payment is not budgeted, Caterpillar would take back the paver, no questions asked.

Peters said he could make the 2017 payment from his equipment line item in the budget with the anticipation that the remaining payments be made from the Cum Cap Fund.

New council member Penny Lukenbill said, “This is really an ongoing issue, you know with highway funding and I think that that as a council we really need to work together with highway and the commissioners because this is a county problem.  It is not the highway’s problem; it’s not the commissioner’s problem. We need to be responsible.”

Lukenbill’s response was in reference to re-establishing the Cum Cap Development rate back at the maximum amount this year.  That increase would bring approximately $400,000 back to the county.

While the commissioners approved re-establishing the rate at the max; from .169 to .333 per $100 of assessed value last summer a group of 128 taxpayers remonstrated against the increase.  The end of July the Department of Local Government Finance denied the increase after determining there was a procedural defect.

Lukenbill told members of the county council, “With Cum Cap, it is not considered when you are calculating the levy.  It falls outside the levy.”

Commissioner Garner said, “We are just about at the point where we are out of options, and I think we will see that in just about 2 years. We are committed to bringing the cum cap back.   With what we anticipate in just in our equipment lease out there, that will basically take up a substantial amount of that cum cap increase.”  He closed by saying, “There are some decisions that are going to have to be made here, if not this budget cycle certainly next year you’re going to have to make some decisions.”