Commissioners approve plowing contract

first_imgFARMINGTON – Commissioners approved a plow bid for roads in West Freeman at their meeting Tuesday morning.The commissioners separated roughly 8.7 miles of West Freeman roads from the Freeman and Salem Township roads last year, creating a separate contract that was awarded to a business on a contract at $38,000 per year. After that business declined to renew the contract after the first year, the commissioners put out a request for bids which had a single applicant, the same company that currently plows the Salem and Freeman Township roads: Fenwick Construction LLC.Fenwick’s bid came in originally at $94,000. Commissioners tabled the issue last week due to the increase in cost, which Andrea Fenwick, representing the business, said included money to purchase equipment, bonding and worker-related expenses to get the company back up and running on the West Freeman route. Commissioners asked that Fenwick consider agreeing to a single, re-merged contract for all of the plowing work. The Salem/Freeman Township contract covers roughly 33.8 miles, while the West Freeman contract covers 8.7 miles.On Tuesday, Andrea Fenwick declined to merge the two contracts, citing the bonding the company had in place for Salem and Freeman Township roads. She did offer the lower price of $86,972, which the commissioners accepted.Commissioner Charlie Webster of Farmington said that he and Commissioner Terry Brann of Wilton had both researched other, comparable plowing contracts and found them in line with Fenwick’s bid. They agreed to a new, five-year contract with Fenwick for the West Freeman roads, suggesting that the contracts could be recombined in the future.Commissioners also met with Somerset County Communications Director Michael Smith and Communications Deputy Director Tammy Barker. Both Smith and Barker were brought on to assist the Franklin County Regional Communications Center, which is dealing with personnel shortages. CL Folsom, the communications director for Franklin County, is currently out on leave, and Smith and Barker will be assisting Franklin County for two weeks as of last Friday.Somerset County’s assistance was offered at no cost following the Sept. 16 explosion on the Farmington Falls Road. The commissioners thanked Smith and Barker for their willingness to assist the county.In other business, Register of Probate Joyce Morton brought up a memo she had written regarding what she saw as a violation of the county’s personnel policy, specifically Section 4.5 Political Activities. That policy forbids political activities during work hours and states that employees may not “Use official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election or nomination for office …”Specifically, Morton said that Webster had taken a part-time employee of the probate office aside to discuss her interest in running for Morton’s position. Morton said that Webster also inquired as to the employee’s plans for registering in a political party and that he had previously told her that he was recruiting two republican candidates to run for the position.“These actions are improper employer/employee conduct and are extremely disruptive to the business of running the probate office,” Morton wrote in the memo, adding that they were in violation of the county’s personnel policy. “Commissioner Webster must stop these activities now and from this point forward.”Webster said that the matter could have been discussed privately prior to the meeting, rather than through the memo. He also said that he believed that the memo related to his unwillingness to support a run by Richard Morton, Joyce Morton’s husband and the former Judge of Probate, for a commissioner seat.No action was taken in regards to the memo.last_img

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