Carter County Fiscal Court has already approved several roads for asphalt work, but with only one contractor bidding on the projects, the wait for that work is wearing on the nerve of magistrates and their constituents.

The court moved in July to award bids for asphalt work to Mountain Enterprises and drew lots to determine the order districts would go in for chip and seal work. But Mountain has not started on any of the work for the county, and with the contractor tied up on state projects, including repaving of portions of the AA highway and Route 7 through Grayson Lake State Park, they likely will not get to any county roads until next month at the earliest.

Magistrate Morris Shearer asked for an update on the blacktop schedule during the regular meeting of the court last Monday, August 12.

Road crew supervisor Jason Carroll told the court that it would likely be sometime in September before Mountain finished the work for the state and could begin on projects for the county.

Shearer, who represents the Second District, drew the lot for the last district to be paved during the July special meeting.

In other road news the court voted unanimously to remove Price Lane from the county road system.

Gabe Carroll Cemetery Road was also back on the agenda, this time to move the right-of-way rather than the ongoing issue with fence posts in the right-of-way which dominated several meetings over the past year. The court moved to begin the process of moving that right-of-way, with judge executive Mike Malone telling the court the "proposed changes improve it as far as I can see."

The court also approved advertising for bids on bridge replacement on five different bridges across the county. Bids will be accepted for work on Buffalo Creek Bridge, as well as on bridges on Bowling, Field's Branch, Apaloosa and Flat Fork roads.

Malone also asked for the county attorney's office to draft a letter to the vendor who rented the county a road reclaimer that broke down before they could complete any work.

The county was considering purchase of the piece of equipment, but chose to rent it first for a trial run. After the equipment broke down in the first hours of usage, they decided not to purchase it, but they are also seeking a return of the $5,000 spent to rent the piece of equipment.

The company has failed to respond to that request, however, so the court is looking at possible legal recourse. Malone said they were able to use the equipment for less than two hours before it "fell apart."

In other action the court moved to adopt a CDBG Grant Resolution, approving a pass-through grant that benefits the Genesis Recovery program. Rick Loperfido, who worked on the grant through FIVCO, said that approving this grant does not disqualify the county from receiving other Civic Development Block Grants.

Loperfido was also welcomed by Malone as the new EMS Director for Carter County. Loperfido's hire was approved earlier in the day by the EMS board. Loperfido, who has degrees and a background in accounting and finance as well as grant writing experience, will replace Frank Sloas as director after completing his current projects with FIVCO.

The court also approved the treasurer's report, claims, and transfers, accepted department reports, approved a truck lease resolution, and declared a 2008 Ford Expedition surplus property, moving to sell the vehicle on govdeals.com.

They moved to table discussion and action on county tax rates and a solid waste ordinance that could require every property owner or tenant in the county to contract for waste removal service.

They also discussed a possibility of pursuing a reciprocal agreement with neighboring counties on the licensing of electrical inspectors, allowing licensed inspectors from bordering counties to inspect and approve properties in Carter County if the Carter County inspector was also allowed to conduct inspections in those counties.

Following an Executive Session the court moved to appoint Jason Carroll to the Rattlesnake Ridge Water District, approved a pay increase to retain an experienced mechanic with the road department, and approved a motion authorizing attorney Bruce Leslie to file countersuit on the county's behalf in a lawsuit brought against the county.

Contact the writer at jwells@journal-times.com.

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