State Law Allows Bidded Projects to be Done by County Employees

Starke County Commissioners: Kathy Norem, Dan Bridegroom and Jennifer Davis

Starke County Commission President Dan Bridegroom recently informed his fellow commissioners and the public that a new state law will allow county workers to do county work that was previously bid out.

The jobs done by the county workers cannot exceed $100,000 and the workers must demonstrate the skills and training to do the work.

Bridegroom said that if the county highway department workers would do a job, and used the installation of culverts as an example, they would need to keep an estimate of costs.

“They have to keep track of exactly everything they do and the dollar factors with it and they basically present that cost to the Drainage Board, almost like a contractor,” said Bridegroom. “The Drainage Board would then pay for that.”

Bridegroom said it looks like a “win-win” for the county as it will save money and keep employees busy during “down times.”

“[Highway Superintendent] Steve Siddall  and I have talked about it and there are times where we don’t enough work to keep all 16 of the drivers busy all of the time, but we need all of the drivers all of the time. So, here’s where we would incorporate some of this work in the spring and in the fall when we’re the short periods of time of work out there where can incorporate it in and save the county money.”

Bridegroom said in many instances the county even has the equipment to get the job done.

“To me, it make sense. We’ve got an excavator out there, backhoes, and everything that we need, but yet we couldn’t legally go and do it. Now we can.”