Kosciusko and Elkhart counties will split $800,000 in federal funds to replace thousands of road safety signs, county commissioners heard this morning.
Commissioners signed an interlocal agreement with Elkhart to divide the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program funds, at the request of county Highway Superintindent Scott Tilden. The county will be responsible for only 10 percent of the cost of replacing what Tilden expects could be about 1,000 of the county’s 1,200 to 1,300 stop, yield and other safety signs.
The funds come through the Indiana Department of Transportation and are managed locally by the Michiana Area Council of Governments, which paired Kosciusko with Elkhart. Tilden said INDOT will put the project up for bids in March after both counties have completed a survey of signs that need replaced, which he put at a cost of about $125 per sign.
Also this morning, commissioners voted to sign a letter of support for a Walnut Creek project spearheaded by the Tippecanoe Watershed Fundation. County Councilman Jon Garber and Warsaw Stormwater Coordinator Theresa  Sailor presented the project, which they said is up for a $200,000 grant from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
Sailor said 40 percent of the funds, which can come either in cash or in in-kind services, must be raised by local partners. Supporters of the project now include the City of Warsaw and the Center for Lakes and Streams at Grace College.
The first part of the project will be to identify and address areas of concern in the watershed, after which the foundation can apply for an implentation grant, she said.
And in zoning matters, commissioners approved a change in voter precinct boundary lines following Warsaw’s annexation earlier this year of Wayne Township land, which will take effect in January; a rezoning of 27 acres at CR 800N and Ind. 13 north of North Webster from agricultural to commercial, at the request of Jeremy Young; and the vacation of a number of right of ways in the Epworth Forest subdivision at the request of the Indiana United Methodist Church, which wants to consolidate land it owns to identify ways it could develop.
At the request of Winona Lake town attorney Jim Walmer, commissioners deeded to the town two tracts of land of less than an acre each. He said the town intends to cross the land with the greenway that it’s developing.