FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted Tuesday to set a new wage for the road agent and approved bid procedures for the agent to follow for roadwork done in the unorganized territory.

The issue of the agent doing the roadwork with his own company has come up in the past.

The county attorney’s opinion is that it is definitely a conflict of interest for the road agent to be the agent and do the work, Commissioner Chairman Terry Brann of Wilton said Tuesday. Brann and Commissioner Charles Webster of Farmington, were in the county Superior Courtroom along with some department heads.

Commissioner Clyde Barker of Strong and members of the public were on the phone during the meeting that was held on a teleconference system. It was difficult for the public to hear because of voices echoing and at times sounding distant.

The next meeting will be held in the commissioners’ room with commissioners spread out and the public on teleconference.

Commissioners entered an executive session with Road Agent Jerry Haines of Avon following complaints about the condition of county roads. Haines owns J & J Haines Excavation Inc. in Avon and operates it with his son, he confirmed Tuesday. He plans to sell it to his son as soon as he can get to a lawyer, he said.

When they exited about 30 minutes later, they unanimously voted that Haines be paid $14,000 a year plus mileage starting July 1. He currently makes $13,014 annually.

Commissioners also approved bid procedures. Haines can make the decision on jobs up to $2,500. For work $2,500 to $10,000, Haines is required to get three quotes. Anything above $10,000 needs to go through a full bid process, including advertisement and written bids.

Prior to the session, commissioners heard complaints on roads, including Freeman Ridge Road in Freeman Township. A third complaint was also received from Tellis Fenwick of Freeman Township.

Commissioners have received complaints in the past.

Resident Bob Carlton of Freeman Ridge Road in Freeman Township said people are frustrated about the maintenance of the roads.

“When it is done, it is done poorly,” he said.

Carlton said he was not just speaking about his road but others in the county.

Ditches, holes and culverts are full, he said.

Residents have been trying to do some of the maintenance such as cleaning culverts.

“I just feel like nobody is paying attention,” he said. “I think county dollars are not spent well.”

Gilmore, who also lives on the road, agreed with Carlton on the condition of the road. He has had to use his rock rake to grade it, he said.

There are several culverts across the road that he believes are rusted on the bottom and causing problems. At times a small car, particularly a mail carrier vehicle could disappear, he said.

Gilmore said he was not trying to point fingers at anyone but he is concerned about how tax dollars are being spent.

Commissioners plan to do the annual review of roads with Haines.


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