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County puts new rules on road rights-of-way

In an effort to prevent damage to county roads, Lincoln Countysupervisors Tuesday approved a new ordinance governing use ofcounty rights-of-way by utility providers and other constructionworkers.

The new law sets up a permit system for utility companies andothers who need to run distribution lines or similar equipmentalong county roads. It also holds companies responsible for anydamage done to roads during the work.

“We have been following the procedure. We just put it to anordinance,” said Board Attorney Bob Allen, adding it standardizesrules for use. “This sets out what the requirements are.”

When applying for a permit to lay a service line or domaintenance along county roads, utility companies or contractorswill have to inform the county of their plans, any preconstructionconferences and when the work is expected to be finished.Violations of the ordinance will be subject to a $500 fine, removalof the lines and restitution to the county for any road damagedone.

“The intent of the board is to protect our roadways andrights-of-way the best we can,” said District 4 Supervisor W.D.”Doug” Moak, adding the ordinance will also help keep supervisorsbetter informed about work going on in their districts.

In other action aimed at road upkeep, supervisors are studyingan amendment to the county’s heavy hauling ordinance. It could beacted upon Friday when supervisors meet to approve yearly bids forsupplies and services.

Allen said the ordinance would allow supervisors to stipulatewhich roads heavy haulers use when moving materials such as lumberor gravel. He said the goal is to have the haulers avoid roads andbridges with low weight limits.

The hauling ordinance also addresses excessive mud on vehicletires and from hauling activities. Allen said it requires mud to becleaned from roadways so it does not present a hazard tomotorists.

“We’ve had that. We’re amending it to make it stronger,” Allensaid about the hauling ordinance changes.