County approves overlay contract with Milestone

The Bartholomew County Commissioners approved a contract Monday with Milestone Contractors, Inc for the second phase of the county’s 2022 road overlay program.

County engineer Danny Hollander said Milestone was the low bidder at $2,811,074.74. Dave O’Mara Contractors submitted a bid of $2,948,621.

Commissioner Tony London commended Hollander for doing a good job anticipating the inflated project cost.

“Nobody anticipated as big of an increase in the price, the quote that we got, but you came pretty close,” he said.

An anticipated Community Crossings grant will cover $1 million for the project, with the county paying the remainder.

According to London, the county will be able to use American Rescue Plan funds to cover its match, as one of the eligible uses of ARP funding is replacing “lost revenue.”

“Some people think that us doing that is fraud,” he said. “That was brought to our attention. … What they failed to realize is that it is income replacement.”

In April 2021, Bartholomew County Auditor Pia O’Connor told elected officials that, instead of asking for an itemized list of county government revenue losses to receive ARP reimbursement, the federal government was simply allowing counties like Bartholomew to list a standard amount of revenue losses of $10 million.

This is essentially money the county can spend where they feel it is most needed, said O’Connor.

County officials have said in the past that Phase II of the overlay program will provide about 27 miles of new asphalt on deteriorating county roads. The phase is made up of 19 road projects in Clay, Clifty, Flat Rock, Haw Creek, Jackson, Ohio, Rockcreek, Sandcreek and Wayne townships.