Ripley County Commissioners Agree To Help With Funding

Commissioners willing to contribute funds to improve Merkel Road.
Commissioners willing to contribute funds to improve Merkel Road.

Ripley County Commissioners are willing to assist Batesville with improvements to Merkel Road.

Batesville Mayor Rick Fledderman, along with members of the Batesville Economic Board and representatives from several businesses on Lammers Pike, asked commissioners on Aug. 19 to allow improvements on the road as well as help with funding.

On Monday, commissioners agreed to contribute $100,000 to the city for the project. According to Mayor Fledderman, it is approximately 15% of the estimated cost to update the road.

The commissioners also requested that Merkel Road be taken over by Batesville, which means the city will be responsible for the maintenance of the road.

Before the city can accept the funding, Fledderman will discuss the proposal with the Batesville Economic Board and the Board of Works. The city will also continue discussions with the Ripley County Commissioners.

The Batesville Mayor is appreciative of the assistance, however would like to see some more funding.

“We would like to see more of an investment from the county. The impact [of improving Merkel Road] will be tremendous for both the city and the county,” Fledderman said.

The city plans on widening the road to allow commercial vehicles to travel more efficiently.

Fledderman added, “It is important for a lot of reasons. It is important for the safety of the residents of the road and the area. It would also give access to Lammers Pike from the east.”