A detour was set up on Pulver Road last week, as crews prepare to replace the Rocky River bridge.
Located between Burlew Road and M-216 in Flowerfield Township, the bridge will be replaced this spring by Allegan County-based Milbocker and Sons. The same company will also be charged with replacing the Floating Bridge Road bridge, also spanning the Rocky River in Flowerfield Township.
The projects’ combined cost is $1.2 million. St. Joseph County Road Commission officials said the Michigan Department of Transportation’s local bridge fund will cover 95 percent of the expense.
The 2014 Centreville Covered Bridge Days community celebration will remain at its familiar location downtown.
The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners last week approved a request from Covered Bridge Days organizers to use the courthouse lawn to stage the annual event.
Approval was given for June 20 through June 22.
In an unrelated matter at last week’s meeting, commissioners gave permission to hire a new juvenile caseworker, as requested by 45th Judicial Court.
The position will be vacated in May with the impending retirement of Deb Sprinkle.
The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners has approved a new position at the sheriff’s department, where a diversion program is expected to better meet the needs of people requiring mental-health service evaluations.
During Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners approved the position of director of assessment. The specialist’s salary will come out of a $350,000 grant administered by the state to the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services of St. Joseph County.
Sheriff Brad Balk said the grant will fund a pilot program considered a model for the state. It involves constructing two holding cells designated for law-breakers whose crimes may be attributed to mental-health issues. He said $150,000 of the grant will cover the costs associated with construction of the new holding cells.
The specially designated cells will provide the CMH director of assessment an opportunity to conduct evaluations on site or via satellite connection.
Marquette and Wayne counties also are included in the pilot program.
Two budget amendments were made at last week’s St. Joseph County Board of Commissioner’s meeting.
Commissioners agreed to a $4,030 adjustment from the county’s general fund for an animal-control shelter study. The study will focus on a needs assessment to be performed in coming months.
In addition, more than $11,200 was amended from the information technology improvement fund for the purchase of Ultra Books for the prosecutor’s office.
Road commission boards in St. Joseph and Cass counties have agreed to a restructuring that will involve each entity being governed by their own manager.
During a joint meeting Jan. 29, current manager Christopher Bolt recommended each agency continue to collaborate on sharing services in accordance with an agreement reached in 2010. Bolt, however, said in the face of numerous and compelling issues, each agency demands attention and focus of a full-time manager.
A revised joint endeavor agreement was signed last month and the new structure was approved by both boards.
The Cass County Board has started a search for a new manager; Bolt will continue to lead both organizations as long as necessary, he said.
The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners has renewed a five-year lease agreement with 911/Central Dispatch.
During last week’s commission meeting, commissioners approved the agreement for 911/Central Dispatch to continue using the 4,000-square-foot space at 620 E. Main St. The annual rent is $788.
When St. Joseph County’s 911 was formed in the 1990s, it constructed its headquarters. The county leases back the land.
Central dispatch is responsible for costs associated with heating and air conditioning, electricity, and water and sewer. Janitorial service and exterior maintenance are provided by jail trustees.