Commissioners approve assessments

By Cecilia Fox -

MIAMI COUNTY — On Tuesday, the Miami County Commissioners approved assessments for the Phoneton water line extension project and discussed quote-seeking procedures for projects.

The water line extension to parts of Bethel Township finished under budget and ahead of schedule, County Engineer Paul Huelskamp said.

“We’re very happy with the way the project has turned out,” he said.

The board voted to levy final special assessments for the project, which turned out to be much lower than predicted.

Assessments were initially estimated to be $8,000 per property, without tap fees. The assessments are now set at $3,155 per benefiting parcel, which also includes tap fees for connecting to the new water line.

“They’ll just have to pay for the meter and their plumber to hook up the line,” Huelskamp said.

The project extended water supply service to properties in the Phoneton area of Bethel Township, including properties on East U.S. Route 40, South U.S. Route 40, South State Route 202, South Wildcat Road, Shroyer Drive, and Dinsmore Drive.

The commissioners authorized the payment for an already completed project, the installation of a sand volleyball court at West Central Juvenile Rehabilitation Center, at a total of $10,831.

The board questioned why the center only sought one estimate for the project.

West Central Juvenile Rehabilitation Center Director Brent Knackstedt said that they did not initially seek multiple quotes because the original estimate came in under $10,000. It was later discovered that smaller equipment was needed for the project, which added to the time, he said.

Commissioner John “Bud” O’Brien reminded Knackstedt of the county’s procurement policy, which requires that most projects over $1,000 to get three quotes, and jobs over $50,000 to go through a bidding process.

“All of us here are handling citizens’ tax money and … when you’re talking about a $10,000 job, I think I’d want to have more than one person take a look at that job — even if, legally, I could get it done for $10,000,” Commissioner Greg Simmons.

“Not to try to mitigate anything, but this was all unspent funds for the fiscal year that we were trying to wrap up,” Knackstedt added.

By Cecilia Fox

Reach Cecilia Fox at

Reach Cecilia Fox at