Sizeable Discrepancy In Bids For Justice Building Alarm System

Bids for the fire alarm system at the Kosciusko County Justice Building were opened at the Commissioners meeting Tuesday.

County attorney Ed Ormsby opened the bids and said the first one was from Koorsen Fire & Security, Fort Wayne, for $89,748. The second bid was from Priority One, Fort Wayne, for $176,586.

The bids were taken under consideration and to be awarded at the Commissioners’ April 26 meeting.

County Highway Superintendent Steve Moriarty asked the Commissioners for their approval for the contract between the Indiana Department of Transportation Local Public Agency (INDOT LPA) and county for right-of-way services for the bridge 161 project. The bridge is at CR 200S over Walnut Creek.

INDOT will pay 80% of the bridge project as part of a grant the county received.

The Commissioners approved the contract.

Moriarty then asked the Commissioners to approve the 2021 annual report, which the Highway Department submits to Indiana LTAP (Local Technical Assistance Program) about its costs and expenditures.

Commissioner Cary Groninger asked what were the total miles the highway department “touched” in 2021. Moriarty said they paved, chip sealed or coated over 127 miles, which is over 10% of the county’s roads.

The Commissioners approved the report.

Finally, Moriarty requested to purchase a CAT excavator 315 for $245,900 through Sourcewell Contracting. He said by going through Sourcewell, he’s saving $45,586 plus an additional $25,832 with a MacAllister’s discount as well.

The excavator will replace a smaller 2003 one.

In other business, the Commissioners:

• Approved a maintenance agreement with Advanced Products Group, New Paris Telephone, for the county’s new phone system, as requested by County Administrator Marsha McSherry.

The final installations were done this past month, she said.

The agreement covers service, labor and parts for $15,264 annually.

• Approved a service agreement with MetroNet for the county’s public safety communication project.

“This is to connect the dispatch center with our central tower site out at the highway department. This is to make the system totally redundant. We’ll have microwave connection and this will be the fiber connection. If we don’t have redundancy, and we only have one of these, and one goes down, then we don’t have the dispatch center functional,” McSherry said in presenting the agreement.

There are no installation fees with it, she said, and they did solicit bids for the agreement.

Zayo, which acquired Intelligent Fiber Network (IFN), had a monthly fee of $2,300 for a 20-year contract. MetroNet only wanted to do a two-year contract for $825 per month.

She said it was “dark fiber,” meaning only the dispatch will be on it and no one else.

• Heard a quarterly report from Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation CEO Alan Tio. As part of that report, he said KEDCO was ready to launch its MedTech accelerator studio, which the county and city helped fund.

“We’re ready to launch the program, so we’ll have more details to share, but, again, that’s an important way for us to begin build a pipeline of starter companies here,” he said.

• Approved all three grant requests as presented by Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Shane Bucher. They included a federal reimbursement grant of $12,500 from the Comprehensive Hoosier Highway’s Injury Reduction Program (CHIRP) for the Stop Arm Violation Enforcement; a $16,000 matching grant from the state of Indiana for body camera replacement; and a $4,900 matching federal grant from the Small Rural Tribal Agency, also for body camera replacement.

Matching funds for the grants will come out of the jail commissary fund.

• Approved the reappointment of Parke Smith and Michael Dewald to the Lakeland Regional Sewer District. Their four-year terms will expire April 18, 2026.