County to charge for road damage

    After proposing excavators and operators of heavy equipment on county roads be charged for any damages caused by the loading and unloading of their machinery last week, Adams County Highway Superintendent Mark Mitchel on Monday presented county commissioners with a draft of a letter outlining the possible charges violators could incur.
    Mitchel proposed that when damage is done to a county roadway, violators be sent a bill for the materials and labor required by the highway department to repair the damage.
    Commissioner Kim Fruechte questioned Mitchel about charging for labor since employees are already being paid by the county.
    "Isn't that something like double-dipping," asked Fruechte.
    Mitchel pointed out that even though employees are earning their regular salary, when they are forced to repair damage done to roads by heavy equipment it is taking them away from other work they could be doing for the county.
    "We charge labor when we have to replace a stop sign or guardrail, something like that, because of an accident," said Mitchel. "I really don't see this as any different. If they got to be out fixing a road because someone tore it up, they're not doing what we need  them to be doing."
    Adams County Attorney Mark Burry agreed with Mitchel but noted that a resolution needs to be drawn up first, which Burry said he will handle, before any bills may be sent to any violators.
    Commissioners agreed to the resolution to be drawn up as is, charging for materials and labor, 2-1, with Fruechte dissenting.