LaGrange town board green lights Union Street project –

LAGRANGE – The LaGrange Town Board approved an ordinance that allows the town to spend just over $2 million to rebuild a section of Union Street from behind Miller’s Super Valu to South Street.

The projects will rebuild the road from the ground up, as well as install new curbs, new sidewalks, and a new storm drain system. In addition, the town will be replacing all the existing water and wastewater pipes, valves, and manholes that run beneath the road. Work on the project is expected now be able to start as soon as the weather breaks.

The project is one of several planned projects aimed at updating infrastructure on the south side of town. Several large projects are slated to begin construction in that section of town, including a new senior housing complex of more than 30 units, as well as a major expansion of a dental office.

Part of the overall cost of those repairs is being paid for using the town’s TIF funds. Six hundred thousand dollars of that cost will be paid for using monies the state’s Community Crossing grant awarded to LaGrange.

In other matters, the board members approved a plan to finance about $325,000 through Farmers State Bank to purchase a new specialty vacuum truck that will be used by the street, water, and wastewater departments. Mark Eagleson, the LaGrange town manager, said the town will pay $100,000 of the expected $425,000 price tag for the new truck now, and finance the rest through the bank for the next three years. Eagleson said that allows the town to spread the cost of the truck out for four years, lessening its impact on any single year’s budget.

The board members also approved the resignation of Nic Dubea, a deputy marshal with the town’s police department. Dubea has been with the department for 10 years. He is taking a new job with the Noble County Sheriff’s Department.

The board also approved an interlocal agreement with Noble County to purchase Dubea’s K-9 partner as well as the Dodge Durango Dubea drives. That truck, a 2017, is outfitted to safely transport Dubea’s police dog, and would be difficult to refit as a standard police vehicle, Eagleson said.

Dubea’s position with the Noble County department is a new position that will require Noble County to purchase Dubea a new vehicle equipped to handle his K-9 partner. Eagleson said it made sense for Noble County to purchase the LaGrange unit Dubea drove and remaking it a Noble County’s deputy’s vehicle.