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County eyes recouping road damage repair costs

June 5, 2012

    Adams County Highway Department Superintendent Mark Mitchel proposed the possibility of charging excavators and operators of heavy equipment using county roads to be charged for any damages caused by the loading and unloading of their machinery.
    Mitchel told Adams County Commissioners Monday that without laying down something to protect the road, such as tires or plywood, when machinery that run on steel tracks are unloaded, then turned in the road, it causes damage that the county must then repair.
    Mitchel said this has been an ongoing problem and he has spoken with several excavators and contractors in the past, to no avail.
    "We have to go in and repair the damage, and at $95 a ton, which is the amount it usually takes, then you add the manpower for us to do the work, and the chip and seal we have to put on top of that, well you're looking at about $500," said Mitchel.
    Mitchel said since the problem doesn't seem to be getting any better, he feels it's time to start billing those responsible for the damage for the cost of repairs.
    No reason has been given as to why those responsible for the damage have yet to comply with requests from the highway department to pay for repairs, according to Mitchel.
    Commissioner Kim Fruechte noted that the county is not pinpointing any one group. The request for reimbursement  to the county will be made to any individual or company that causes damage to the roadway as a result of not taking the proper precautionary measures.
    Adams County Attorney Mark Burry suggested another alternative may be to pass an ordinance imposing a fine on offenders as well.    
    So if you're operating heavy machinery on county roads and your equipment causes damage, be aware. You may soon be receiving a bill to cover the cost of repairs.

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