By JOHN KLINE
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Work on the next phase of C.R. 17 got its initial push Monday with the approval of a $300,000 appropriation by the Elkhart County Board of Commissioners to fund right-of-way acquisition for a two-lane section of roadway from C.R. 38 to C.R. 40.
According to Jeff Taylor, manager of transportation for the county, original plans for the extension of C.R. 17 had called for four-lane sections being constructed all the way to U.S. 6, though funding issues connected to the economy eventually caused the plan to be changed. Instead, the decision was made to end the four-lane C.R. 17 construction at C.R. 40, with the final section between C.R. 38 and C.R. 40 involving a reduced, two-lane limited-access section.
However, since the decision was made to reduce the section from four lanes to two, traffic data has been compiled which indicates that the two-lane section should be more than adequate to handle the amount of traffic that will likely use the section on a daily basis.
“According to the modeling that’s been done on the south side of Goshen,” Taylor said, “all of the area around the airport could be developed, and we’d still not need four lanes on that section of C.R. 17. There’s still enough capacity for two lanes to handle the anticipated volume of traffic that would be created if all of the open land around and north of the airport would develop.”
As for what the new section will look like, Taylor noted that the new section will be limited-access, which means there will be little to no access to area homes or businesses.
“It’s going to be limited access, so there won’t be a bunch of driveways and businesses along there that impact the flow of traffic,” Taylor said. “So there should not be any problem with 10,000 to 15,000 cars a day on that section of road, and we aren’t even anticipating that much. Right now there might be 200 cars a day on the gravel, and when we pave that, how many will use it we don’t know. But according to the models, even if all that area by the airport develops, it won’t reach 10,000 to 15,000.”
With the commissioner’s approval now official, the additional appropriation request will move to the Elkhart County Council for final review Saturday.
In other action, numerous officer elections and committee appointments were approved by the board Monday for the coming year.
First on the agenda was the election of board president, which went to Commissioner Terry Rodino. Following the president vote was the vote for vice president, which went to Commissioner Mike Yoder.
Following officer elections, the commissioners then decided on who would hold what committee appointments over the course of the new year.
Commissioner Frank Lucchese will hold committee positions with the Michiana Area Council Of Government (MACOG), St. Joe Valley River Basin, Plan Commission, Oaklawn, CCPC - Personnel Liaison, and Affirmative Action (EEOC).
Commissioner Yoder was appointed liaison to the Drainage Board, and Commissioner Rodino was appointed liaison to the Emergency Management Board. County Grants Administrator Kris Krueger was appointed liaison to the Local Coordinating Council (LCC.)
Several appointments were made by the board Monday to various departments within county government.
Matt Grubb was appointed as Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds, while Ron Lunday will serve as Veteran’s Service Officer.
Tom Rushlow will serve as County Highway Engineer. Jeff Taylor was reappointed as Manager of Transportation.
Carol Caviness was appointed Director of Personnel and Insurance, and Scott Mills was appointed Director of Data Processing.
Todd Barrows will lead the Weights and Measures Department for 2013, and Jennifer Tobey will retain her post as Emergency Management Director.
County Administrator Tom Byers will also retain his position for another year, as will County Attorney R. Gordon Lord.
County commissioners also made appointments to numerous county boards during their meeting Monday.
First to be approved was the appointment of Greg Barberio to a one-year term on the Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Dan Boecher of Lake City Bank, Anant Patel of Quality Inn/Comfort Inn and Suites, Elkhart, and Gita Patel, Quality Inn and Suites, Elkhart, will each serve two-year terms on the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Glenn Showalter will serve a three-year term on the Drainage Board, while Larry Andrews will serve a four-year term on the Elkhart County Park Board.
Roger Miller and Doug Miller will each serve four-year terms on the Plan Commission, and Tony Campanello will serve a four-year term on the County Board of Zoning Appeals.
Larry Thompson was appointed to a one-year term on the Solid Waste District Board, and Mark Ledbetter was appointed Township Assistance Appeal Officer.
Randy Wilson, Douglas Hasler, Evan Bontrager and Brent Weddell were each appointed to one-year terms on the County Redevelopment Commission.
Iverson Grove and Harrison Haynes will both serve on the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals (PTA/BOA) for a one-year term, and Philip J. Hahn and James G. Hiatt have each been appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of the Elkhart County Corrections Complex Building Corporation.
Closing out the board appointments Monday was the appointment of Commissioner Yoder to a three-year term on the Wood-Land-Lakes RC and D Council.