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Asphalt rejuvenation topic again

The Harrison County Board of Commissioners Monday night heard from the other side of the asphalt rejuvenation debate after listening earlier this month to a Rejuvtec representative.
That representative, Rex Hedges, said, for health reasons, he wouldn’t recommend awarding the bid to MAC Construction because of the coal tar product it uses.
Kris Bernens of MAC Construction disputed those claims and said the product Hedges spoke of ‘ and what Commissioner George Ethridge was worried about ‘ was different than the product MAC would use.
Ethridge said he was concerned about coal tar and its PAH levels, which is considered carcinogenic.
Bernens said the coal tar sealant used for parking lots is the substance with high PAH levels, but the WD 2000 product used for roads is safe and approved by the EPA as a rejuvenator.
‘Our product is used on runways, which is held to a higher standard than any state or county road,’ Bernens said.
The commissioners bid three road packages to be rejuvenated as part of a new method to improve existing roads instead of spending all of the money to resurface old roads in poor shape.
The rejuvenators add at least four years to the pavement, Bernens said, by making it softer and less susceptible to cracks.
MAC Construction was the low bidder for the project (other bidders were Rejuvtec and Gohmann Asphalt) by $96,000.
Larry Ott, a member of the Harrison County Plan Commission and former owner of an asphalt company, said he wasn’t a supporter of rejuvenators and said he thought the county was going down the wrong path regardless of which rejuvenation product is used.
The commissioners again took the bids under advisement.
Jeff Hess, with the Boone Township Volunteer Fire Dept., asked the commissioners for direction regarding the department’s request for a new truck scheduled to be purchased next year. Hess asked to go ahead with bid specifications and the bid process in 2013 to avoid new, expensive emissions regulations that will bog down the truck.
Both the commissioners and county council agreed to pay for the truck in 2014 as part of the gentleman’s agreement with the fire chiefs’ association, but the commissioners can’t award a bid without money already in place; therefore, the truck can’t be ordered early to avoid the $15,000 or so price hike.
The commissioners advised Hess to speak with the prospective bidders about the situation and report back.
The board also approved nearly $80,000 for improvements to the audio/video system at the Purdue Building in south Corydon.
‘If you want to get embarrassed, schedule a conference over there and rely on that equipment,’ Commissioner Jim Klinstiver said.
As the low bidder, Fulkerson Construction was awarded two bids for a box culvert on Reinhardt Road ($31,000) and concrete work on bridge 23 on Walnut Valley Road (for about $27,000).
The board hired Herb Stewart as the Harrison County Highway Dept. shop foreman and Nick Schilmiller as head mechanic.
The board’s next meeting will be a joint meeting with the county council at 4:40 p.m. Tuesday to hear budget requests from the following agencies: economic development, chaplain’s association, sewer district, The Next Step, Lifelong Learning, Leadership Harrison County, the alternative school, Comfort House, Boys & Girls Club of Harrison County, land conservation, community services, Blue River Services Inc., health care services, emergency medical services, agriculture association, 4-H council and soil and water conservation.
The board’s next regular meeting will be Monday, Aug. 5, at 8:30 a.m. at the Government Center.