The Battle over Engineering Fees Continues in Hancock County

The continuation of the completion hearing for main open ditch repairs to drainage district 130 was halted again Monday after further questioning of a large increase in engineering fees.

At the last hearing, the senior project engineer Ivan Droessler of ISG, admitted the project was originally estimated to cost $37,500. According to Droessler, that original estimate was projected inadequately by ISG’s former senior engineer Kent Rhode. Droessler noted that the original engineering proposal did not include specifications and contractual documents, estimating an increase of $20,000 in order to “re-educate” his firm on the project. But wait, that amount has since ballooned up by 46 percent, according to landowners.

After being levied by the county $250,000, an increase of $73,000 from what the Hancock County Supervisors and its landowners initially agreed to, the citizens called out their elected officials.

That was Tim Tusha and Donny Schleusner, two of the many concerned landowners that voiced their concerns at Monday’s Hancock County Board of Supervisors meeting.

ISG agreed to remove a total of $17,000 off the engineering fees, which brings the total to a near $85,000. The landowners were only willing to offer $68,000 for the total engineering fees.

The Hancock County Board of Supervisors did agree to the final payout to the contractor of the main open ditch repair project, however, the Hancock County Board of Supervisors continued the continuance hearing until September 16th at 11am to further discuss the engineering fees.