Commissioners approve county-line perambulation

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FARMINGTON – County commissioners met today and agreed to engage the services of a surveying company to determine where the county line between Oxford and Franklin County actually is.

The area in question is the Jay/Canton border, where a private property dispute required local officials to locate the county line. However, according to Commissioner Gary McGrane, of Jay, the stone monuments which typically mark the county boundaries have not been located.

Perambulation, literally meaning “a walking inspection,” is usually undertaken every few years to ensure that county lines remain current and identifiable. However, McGrane noted, Franklin County had fallen into the habit of only conducting the studies when necessary. The last such occurrence was a few years ago, with a Dixfield/Jay line dispute.

“Basically,” McGrane said, “whenever these things come up, we do it then.”

In that case, a surveyor found the tablet marked with coordinates and border instructions beneath a large flat rock. Commissioner Meldon Gilmore, of Freeman Township, recalled a humorous event when Somerset County officials approached him to locate a local marker. The monument was a couple hundred feet down a gully, requiring climbing rope to get to.

The commissioners unanimously approved employing Kachnovich Land Surveyors Inc., the same company that conducted the survey in the Dixfield area. That company quoted a price of $2,800 to $3,700 to survey the area. The money will come out of a $10,000 Perambulation Reserve Account set aside for that purpose.

In other business, commissioners gave their unofficial approval for the District Attorney’s Office to move its staff to four, 10-hour days instead of five, 8-hour days. The change will not affect the office’s hours of operation, and the assistant district attorneys themselves will stay on the old schedule.

“There will never be a time when there won’t be someone in the office,” Assistant District Attorney Andrew Robinson said.

Robinson said the change was designed to make the office more efficient, allowing the staff to work before and after the office opened and closed. This would let them fill out paperwork and complete tasks constantly interrupted by ringing phones. It will also give the staff a day to spend with their families.

“I suspect,” Robinson said, “that in addition to the benefit to the staff, we’d be more efficient after hours with this new schedule.”

The new schedule will run until the end of the year, then the commissioners and district attorney’s office staff will review it.

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