04/12/11 Last week the Argos Town Council came to a decision concerning the offer from the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT). INDOT has offered Marshall County and LaPaz monetary compensation to take responsibility over sections of US 31 that will soon be abandoned with the new 31 road project. INDOT also wanted to relinquish Old US 31 north of Argos and Michigan Street in Argos. INDOT has been responsible for the plowing and maintenance of this roadway since the US 31 bypass went around Argos in the 1960′s.
Council President, Dave Walker, told the Council INDOT first offered Argos $200,00 for the 1.1 mile section of Michigan Street and recently increased their offer to $400,000. INDOT would still retain ownership of the land under the street. If Argos would not accept the offer, Michigan Street would then designated with a Tier 3 road status and would be paved and plowed when INDOT could get to it.
Dave Walker told the Council he would suggest that the $400,000 be put into a special fund, not in the General Fund. This fund could be used to supply the funds needed for matching grants, such as paving projects, applied for in the future.
“This is hard to swallow. We take care of the street and INDOT will still own the land.” said Council Member George Null. It was questioned on whether the $400,000 would be enough to pave the 1.1 miles. It was also questioned on how Michigan Street would be plowed during the winter season. All the side streets would be clear and Michigan Street would still be covered with snow.
A vote to decline the offer from INDOT was made by George Null. It passed 3-2 with George Null, Linda Jones, and Casie Rowe voting yes and Dave Walker and Val Harley voting no.
Teressa Welborn Correspondent