Commissioners talk road agreements

CADIZ — Harrison County commissioners agreed to release two companies from road use maintenance agreements Wednesday.

Last week, Doug Crabtree of the Harrison County Engineer’s Office brought a request from Hess Development to release the company from RUMAs on County Roads 2 and 11. The commissioners tabled the discussion last week to allow further discussion of the request inspection of the roads in question. When commissioners returned to the discussion this week, Commissioner Dale Norris expressed a little concern about repairs and paving that will be required on CR 2.

“I have a little problem in approving something like this without the road being made whole,” Norris said.

Crabtree told commissioners that Hess shares the stretch of road with Rover Pipeline and Kinder-Morgan. Hess is paying 20 percent of the road repair fees, while Kinder-Morgan and Rover each are responsible for 40 percent. Crabtree said he has been trying to get in contact with the two companies regarding work done to the road, but they have been “very lax” in responding to emails or phone calls. After some discussion, the commissioners decided that Hess had met the obligations of its agreement, even if that does not cover the complete cost of work needed. Commissioners approved the request to release Hess from the agreement, while Crabtree also agreed to continue to try and contact the other entities about their responsibilities regarding the road.

“It all goes back to safety, and the conditions of the road,” Commissioner Don Bethel said. Norris described the section in question as “worn,” requiring some repairs and paving in the spring.

Crabtree also brought several more RUMAs before the board, including a request from Gulfport Energy Corp. for its own agreement release. Crabtree said that release request comes because Chesapeake Energy has purchased the well Gulfport was using and will submit its own RUMA to the county. Commissioners approved the release, as well as two new RUMAs for Cardinal Gas Services and Black and Veatch Corp.

Commissioners also heard from Karen Couch, director of the Harrison County Rural Transit Authority. Couch asked for an advance to help pay bills for the next few weeks, until the agency receives money from a grant. Commissioners approved a contingency advance of $38,000, to be reviewed at the commission meeting on Dec. 27. Scott Blackburn, director of the Harrison County Department of Job and Family Services, received approval for out-of-county travel and training. Blackburn entered into a brief executive session with commissioners to discuss employee contracts, emerging with no action taken.

The commissioners ended the meeting by presenting a plaque to Joy Taggert of the Harrison County Home, who will be retiring on Friday after 31 years of consecutive service to the senior citizens of the county. All the commissioners praised her dedication and the hard work she put in over her long tenure.

“You’ve cared for our elderly in a proud way,” Bethel said. “It’s a wonderful way to give back to your community.”

The Harrison County Board of Commissioners meets regularly at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays at the Harrison County Courthouse in Cadiz.