Six Span Right-of-Way
In other business, council members approved a request for $550,000 from the Major Bridge fund to go toward right-of-way acquisition for the recently completed Six Span Bridge project.
“This is the settlement for acquiring the real estate we needed from the McDonalds at C.R.17 and Ind. 120 for the Six Span Bridge project,” said County Highway Manager Jeff Taylor. “That acquisition has been tied up in litigation, and it went to mediation, and the settlement that we reached is $550,000. They’re not happy and we’re not happy, so that’s usually where the mediator wants to land.”
Taylor said the $550,000 figure is significantly higher he had anticipated as the result of the final mediation.
“We’ve had an amount programed into the 10-year plan, and that number had always been $400,000,” Taylor said. “We were willing to pay $400,000.”
Animal Control Services
Council members also approved an additional appropriation from the General fund for $194,044 to go toward animal control services within the county.
According to Elkhart County Administrator Tom Byers, the additional appropriation is part of five interlocal agreements establishing animal control services for Elkhart, Goshen, Middlebury, Bristol and Wakarusa.
Those interlocal agreements make up a larger, county-wide agreement first approved several years ago establishing Elkhart County government as the intermediary between the Elkhart County Humane Society and the various communities included in the agreement.
“This is about the eighth or ninth year that we have had this arrangement,” Byers said. “Basically what they do is those communities give us the money, and then we in turn pass that money on to the Humane Society along with the county’s portion. That was set up originally to try to help the Humane Society so they weren’t having to bill and keep track of the funds coming in from about six or seven different governmental units.”
The city of Elkhart is currently set to pay $115,000 in animal control costs, while Goshen will pay $64,644, Middlebury will pay $5,400, Bristol will pay $4,000 and Wakarusa will pay $5,000.