Commissioners sign off on road repair agreement

The Washington County Commissioners met in a brief business meeting on Thursday, going over travel requests, bill payments for various departments and signing off on a Wayne National Forest Road Project Agreement.

Commissioner David White said logging frequently occurs in the Wayne National Forest and damage can result on the surrounding roads.

Because of the possibility of damage, the national forest enters into an agreement with the county in order to set up a form of reimbursement for any repairs made to the roads.

“It’s to compensate for any damage done during the logging operation,” said Washington County Engineer Roger Wright.

The current agreement is from a logging operation that started in 2010 and affected County Road 9. Wright said that the operation is now complete.

Wright said the county must keep a record of all repairs and the cost, filling out aggregate tickets to give to the national forest office.

A little more than $11,000 of repairs were made to County Road 9, for which the county will be reimbursed.

The road is in OK shape, Wright said, noting that damage was repaired as it occurred.

He said a multitude of factors determine the condition of the road when logging is taking place.

“There are so many factors involved,” he said. “It’s a case-by-case circumstance that depends on whether the road base has been stabilized or not, where the logging is, the current condition of the road and the climate.”

Wright said making sure the roads are taken care of is a joint effort between Wayne National Forest and the county.

“The county provides the equipment and manpower,” he said. “Wayne National Forest pays for the actual product. We both have a vested interest in getting the road repaired.”

In other business, the commissioners approved the county engineer to put out specs and bid requests for road materials, including asphalt material, aggregates and liquid bituminous material used in chip and seal.

Wright said the prices will be in effect for one year, from March 2014 to March 2015 and that not all materials are bought from the same place.

The supplier with the cheapest price isn’t necessarily going to be the one chosen, said Wright.

“We have to be judicious in where we get our stone from,” he said. “We don’t always look at the bottom dollar.”

Wright said the townships could get the same pricing from the same suppliers based on the way the contract between the county and suppliers is written.

“The townships can contract at (our) prices…or they can do whatever on their own,” Wright said.

Bid notices will go out starting Feb. 15 and will run through March 11, when the bids will be opened.