County to develop inventory of roads

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FARMINGTON – The Franklin County commissioners agreed to start an inventory of all the county-owned roads Tuesday, following discussion with the county administrator and road commissioner.

During the discussion, County Administrator Amy Bernard noted that the county contracts for 84 miles of plowing while they only own 42 miles of road. She was concerned that the county may be missing some roads, and felt that the county needed to have a list of all the roads they were responsible for. Road Commissioner Mike Pond said the state maintains and paves roads such as routes 142 and 145 in the unorganized territories while the county is responsible for plowing them, which accounts for the discrepancy in numbers.

Commissioner Bob Carlton said that the county needs a ‘really detailed’ inventory of assets, including pavement versus gravel, bridges, culverts, and ditches. This will allow the county to plan ahead better.

The commissioners requested that Bernard, Pond, and Tim Hardy with Franklin County Emergency Management work together to figure out the best way to move forward. Bernard thought she may be able to secure grants to cover part of a salary for an intern or assistant to map the roads and assets using GPS.

The commissioners also approved a bid process for road work in fiscal year 2024. The window to submit bids will open on April 15, 2023, allowing two or three weeks for contractors to evaluate roads and the specifications for the work. Once awarded, the work may begin on July 1, 2023, the first day of the fiscal year 2024.

In other business, the commissioners approved a number of appointments to committees and boards. Residents of the unorganized territories fall under the municipal jurisdiction of the county, and as such, the commissioners are tasked with appointing those residents to certain committees and boards, even if the boards do not fall under county authority. The appointments include Ginny Robie and Anna Plog to the Madrid Micro Loan committee and Adam Baillargeon to the Northern Franklin County Housing Coalition. In addition, as the county recently joined the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, Bernard was appointed to the Executive Board while Carlton and Harvell were appointed to the general assembly.

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