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Upshur County road engineer resigns

By Christina Lane
Nov. 15, 2012 at 10 p.m.


GILMER - Upshur County Commissioners are again looking for an engineer to oversee the county's roads.

Road Engineer Eric Fisher submitted his resignation to the county Thursday, saying he had accepted another position. Next week will be his last with the county, Fisher said in his resignation letter.

County Judge Dean Fowler has scheduled a special meeting at 10 a.m. Monday to accept Fisher's resignation and make temporary arrangements for operation of the Road and Bridge Department.

"Thank you for the opportunity to serve the citizens of Upshur County for the last two years," Fisher said in his resignation letter. "The men in this department have done a great job expanding their skills to pavement stabilization and seal coats. I hope you can appreciate what they do for you."

Commissioners voted to hire Fisher at the end of August 2010, However, his hire was much-anticipated by county taxpayers who voted in 2002 to switch to a unit road system that puts road work in the hands of an engineer or administrator.

Before the unit road system, county commissioners were in charge of maintaining roads in their own precincts.

Fowler said commissioners would likely appoint someone within the department to oversee it until a new engineer can be hired.

"We need someone to be in charge," he said. "Someone has to watch over the budget, and someone has to administer the department until we can get an engineer hired."

The process of advertising the position, interviewing candidates and hiring will probably take two months, Fowler said.

"Unless the commissioners feel differently, I believe this is a decision that needs to be made by the new board of commissioners that takes office in January," he said.

On Jan. 1, Paula Gentry and Frank Berka will be sworn into office as commissioners in Pcts. 1 and 3, respectively. They replace commissioners James Crittenden and Lloyd Crabtree.

"I want to assure the public that we will attempt to hire an engineer, and we will begin that process as quickly as we can after we meet on Monday," Fowler said.

In the meantime, he added, this is not a busy time for the Road and Bridge Department.

"This is the time of year when we clear ditches and do general maintenance on our roads," Fowler said. "It is not a heavy road building time of year."

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