Highway Department to host meeting on 48th Street lane reductions, roundabout

Posted: Jun. 10, 2014 9:48 pm Updated: Jun. 24, 2014 10:15 pm
The Adams County Highway Department will host an informational meeting next week on proposed changes to 48th Street between State and Columbus Road.

The meeting will be from 5 to 7 p.m. June 18 at the Holiday Inn, 4821 Oak. The county and the city of Quincy plan to reduce traffic to one lane in each direction and add a center turn lane and a bike lane. The project also would add a roundabout at 48th and State.

At Tuesday night’s Adams County Board meeting, Transportation, Building and Technology Committee Chairman Kent Snider, R-4, said he hopes the meeting will help ease concerns expressed by many residents who don’t want to see traffic lanes on 48th Street reduced.

“Most people have an opinion without seeing the drawing,” Snider said.

The new lane configuration is expected to be completed this summer, with the roundabout project planned for 2015. Officials believe it will make travel in the area safer and the roundabout will cost less than adding stoplights at 48th and State.

The County Board also said farewell to longtime member and former Chairman Mike McLaughlin, R-3, who resigned last month to become executive director of the Two Rivers Regional Council of Executive Officials.

McLaughlin, who joined the County Board in 1989 and served as chairman for 16 years, thanked county officials and employees for the support.

“I can stand up here all night and go on and on about my relationship with a lot of you,” he said. “I look out and I think I’ve appointed every single one of you to some committee over the years, along with officeholders and other people, too. I just want to say thank you.”

Board Chairman Les Post presented McLaughlin with a plaque for his service. McLaughlin was joined at the meeting with his wife, Julie, and daughter, Lauren.

The board confirmed the appointment of former County Board member Dave Bellis to serve out the rest of McLaughlin’s term. Bellis also will replace McLaughlin on the November ballot.

Board member Rick Gengenbacher, R-5, was appointed to fill the rest of McLaughlin’s term as board vice chairman, while Snider was named chairman of the Transportation, Building and Technology Committee.

Also at Tuesday’s County Board meeting:

• Finance Committee Chairman Duane Venvertloh, R-7, said the county’s fiscal picture has improved over the past two fiscal years, with higher fund balances. “I wouldn’t go out and start spending new money, but I would say we’re in a fair position,” Venvertloh said.

• Sheriff Brent Fischer said contracts to house federal prisoners awaiting trail have been signed by both the county and the U.S. Marshals Service. Fischer said the county could start taking federal inmates by July 1. The county will be paid $65 a day for each prisoner and $30 an hour for each deputy assigned to transport them.

• The annual prevailing wage resolution was approved on a 15-5 vote, with Ryan Niekamp, R-2, Becky Weed, R-2, Marvin Kerkhoff, R-3, Lyle Nichols, R-4, and John Brady, R-6, voting against it. Board member Joe Zanger, R-7, was absent.

• The final plat for the R and K Anderson Subdivision in Ellington Township was approved.

• Election judges were appointed to two-year terms.

• Liberty Fire Protection District Trustee Michael Scott and Golden Fire Protection District Trustee Steven L. Loeschen were reappointed, and Jeff Donley, Roger McElroy and Dale Mulch were appointed trustees of the Lima-Tioga Fire Protection District.