Vigo County officials this week took the first steps toward improving a section of Clinton Road north of East Park Avenue, slated for construction work in 2024.

The Vigo County Board of Commissioners approved agreements for a corridor study and designating more than $3.38 million in federal funds to improve Clinton Road.

The money, County Engineer Larry Robbins said after the meeting, is being earmarked through West Central Indiana Economic Development District, which serves as the county's metropolitan planning organization.

"It will go toward improvements on Clinton Road. Those improvements have not been designed yet," Robbins said. The county has a contract for a corridor study with Indianapolis-based engineering firm USI Consultants.

"It is similar to a corridor study that was done on Margaret Avenue, but on Clinton Road," Robbins said. "People have been requesting pedestrian amenities and other things, which will be reviewed in the corridor study. Out of that study, we will get (an engineering) contract and break the project down into phases."

Robbins said instead of holding public hearings during the corridor study, he hopes to use social media, such as Facebook, to get people's comments and respond to those.

 "Any more, not too many people show up to public meetings any more and I want to try to get as much public input as we can. We will still have one public meeting at the end of the corridor study," Robbins said.

"The corridor study will go from East Park Avenue to the U.S. 41 split," Robbins said. "Clinton Road improvements will not be the whole corridor. The improvements will be up to Hasselberger Avenue."

That is 80 percent funding, with the county required to contribute an additional 20 percent. "It is estimates right now, but we will get into more specific costs when we do a corridor study," the county engineer said.

Other business

Commissioners also approved a user-paid monitoring services agreement with California-based Sentinel Offender Services LLC. 

Equipment costs range from $200 to $500, with accessories such as power cords, straps and backplates from $5 to $30. Tracking costs on a one-piece GPS tracking device is$2.98 per day the unit is active.

"We are changing out our equipment. It is new equipment with a new service providers," Bill Watson, executive director of Vigo County Community Corrections, told commissioners.

"There is long battery life with this and better tracking," Watson said. "The offender now has the ability to change their batteries in and out with the equipment we have now. Initially that was not an issue, but it has become more of a problem with lost batteries and costs associated with that. This gets away from that," Watson said.

Also, Commissioner Brendan Kearns was appointed by the board to serve as the county's representative on the state Wabash River Heritage Corridor Commission. The two year term expires Dec. 31, 2021.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or Follow on Twitter@TribStarHoward.

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