WARREN - Engineer Randy Smith is proposing his office and cities, villages and townships in Trumbull County hire someone to monitor and coordinate road issues surrounding natural gas and oil drilling in the county.
The well coordinator's position would be funded by a 50/50 split between the engineer's office and communities deciding to partner, Smith said Wednesday.
The person would be responsible for making sure companies meet requirements in road use and maintenance agreements, follow through on complaints, do road inspections and monitor whether companies are using the designated, approved routes to haul heavy machinery and other equipment.
Smith said he figures the position would cost $87,212 a year for wage, benefits and supplies. The engineer's office would cover half and the rest of the $43,606 would be split between communities which choose to participate, or about $1,800 each.
In areas where a village is in a township, both would not be required to pay $1,800. It would be up to officials in those communities to determine each's share if they choose to partner, Smith said.
He's proposing the position be for five years with an option to extend another three years - the same period of time BP Oil has spelled out in its contract to lease the mineral rights to drill into shale formation in Trumbull County.
The position would be under the engineer.
He plans to pitch the idea in full to communities sometime in the next two weeks.
Smith's proposal was born from a meeting he hosted last month with officials from across the county about the road use maintenance agreements. The voluntary agreements outline the responsibilities drilling companies have to prepare and maintain county, township, village and city roads, culverts and bridges for heavy machinery associated with drilling.
It was there, Smith said, that he was approached by several officials requesting the engineer's office oversee for them those requirements in the road agreements.
''They don't have the staff available to give it the attention it will need,'' Smith said.