Franklin County Commissioner Charles Webster of Farmington, left, tries to negotiate a lower cost per mile with Andrea Fenwick of Fenwick Construction LLC of Freeman Township on Wednesday for road plowing in West Freeman Township. Donna Perry/Sun Journal

FARMINGTON – Franklin County commissioners tabled action Tuesday on a snow removal contract for West Freeman Township after about an hour of discussion with the contractor.

Fenwick Construction LLC of Freeman Township submitted a bid for the 8.68 miles of road by the deadline for proposals. A second bid arrived after the deadline. Commissioners decided not to open it.

Andrea Fenwick, who operates the company with her husband, Tellis Fenwick, discussed their bid, which was more than $70,000. The offer was higher than commissioners anticipated.

The contract is for one year but the contractor has the option of renewing one year at a time for four more years.

Fenwick is one year into a five-year contract covering 33.81 miles in part of Freeman Township and Salem Township. The agreement is $295,480 for each year of the contract.

Until last year the contracts for Freeman Township and Salem Township were combined but commissioners decided to split them up, awarding what could have been a five-year contract to the low bidder for the area West Freeman village. That business owner decided not to renew after the first year.

Andrea Fenwick said that once the contract was split up they had to let plow drivers go and sell equipment, including trucks. In addition to needing more plow truck drivers, the company would need to buy trucks to get the West Freeman area done. They would also have to pay for sand, salt, bonding, liability and workers’ compensation insurances, she said.

Fenwick’s bid for the West Freeman area was more than double the $38,000 the last contractor was doing it for.

Commissioner Charles Webster of Farmington said he thought the price was too high.

Commissioners discussed combining the two contracts again to get a lower cost per mile.

They also discussed a second round of bids but concerns were raised that it could snow before they had a contractor.

Fenwick said she didn’t want to combine the contracts because commissioners took West Freeman section away from them last year. She left the commissioners meeting room and called her husband. When she returned she said she put in a bid and they were sticking to it.

Webster continued to try and negotiate a lower price per mile if the contracts were combined. Commissioners discussed a new, five-year contract for the combined routes. He said he was willing to compromise on the cost per mile.

Fenwick said she would discuss the matter with her husband.

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