County Council gives blessing to pursue new garage site

The Bartholomew County Council is receptive to a plan from the county commissioners to move the county highway garage.

Commissioners say the current facility on State Street is landlocked with little room for expansion. Commissioners are looking at purchasing 11.25 acres neighboring the Clay Township Fire Department on 25th Street on the east side of Columbus. The property is currently owned by the Solid Waste Management District.

During last week’s council work session, commissioners asked the body to consider bonding $8 million for the project. Under the commissioners’ proposal, the bond would be paid back out of CEDIT revenue. When the county council met in regular session Tuesday night, they indicated a desire to limit bonding to $6 million with any overages split between the council and commissioners.

The commissioners agreed to pursue the project with these bonding guidelines. While there are no plans officially in place, Commissioners President Larry Kleinhenz offered his hope that a new garage facility could be constructed and ready to be moved into by the spring of 2020. He adds that the plan is for the existing garage complex on State Street to be sold. Proceeds from that sale would go into the county’s general fund.