Athens Co. Engineer Presents Commissioners With Roadway Use Agreement

By
Christa Lamendola

Dateline
Updated Wed, Feb 1, 2012 4:51 pm

Fracking has environmental and economic concerns for Athens County and those have been thoroughly debated for weeks.

Now, another issues has surfaced: road maintenance. 
 
With Athens County citizens leasing land to drilling companies, Athens County Engineer Archie Stanley is worried about what's going to happen with county roads.  Acting on that, he helped prepare a new roadway use, repair and maintenance agreement, which he has presented to the Athens County Commissioners.  Stanley says it is designed to protect roads and bridges from the effects of heavy equipment. 
 
"Their basic reaction was acceptance. It has been reviewed by our prosecutor and they know that we are in charge of the roads and bridges," said Stanley.
 
With the increased amount of moisture from the weather in this past year, Stanley says that roads have become softer, making them more likely to be damaged by heavy machinery.
 
The agreement would require companies to post a bond up to $250,000 per mile to cover the costs of any damages made to the roads. 
 
"Our intention is to protect Athens County roads and bridges. We have had 32 years of rebuilding the system and we don't want to see it torn up. If anything, we want to see it better when these companies leave than before they came," said Stanley.
 
Stanley says he believes without the agreement, the annual $4 million road maintenance budget will not be enough to keep the roads and bridges safe.
 
The commissioners will be making a decision on the agreement sometime in the next week.
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