Carter County Commissioners will soon begin charging a $500 process and inspection fee for road crossing permits after unanimously approving the change during a regular meeting Monday morning. 

The commissioners have recently experienced a company renew numerous road crossing permits several times, which could have amounted to a substantial chunk of change had the fee been in place in the past few months. 

The last renewal for the 18 road crossing permits for Plains Pipeline in District 3 occurred June 20. District 3 Commissioner Jerry Alvord said last week a lot of the sections were done, as far as he could tell. 

Some of the renewals were unavoidable, such as the one in May, where rain held up a lot of projects. But to date, the company has renewed the road crossing permits at least four times, county commission agendas show. 

The fee will go into effect at the beginning of the new fiscal year, July 1. Money collected from the fee will go to the district in which the permit was issued, said District 1 Commissioner Joe David McReynolds. 

“The board reserves the right to waive the processing and inspection fee if deemed necessary,” McReynolds said.

Alvord added, the money will help cover the damages sustained when companies bore under the roads. 

“These are just road crossings, mostly dealing with oil companies that are going to bore under the roads,” he said. 

The permits will still be good for 30 days, at which time a company must renew the permit, if needed.

Both Alvord and McReynolds talked to commissioners in surrounding counties before deciding on the fee amount. 

“I know Marshall County, they charge $2,000 per crossing. Love County’s charging, I think, $1,000, and I think we’re fair with the $500 right now,” McReynolds said. 

The commissioner estimated they typically approve 80 to 100 road crossing permits per year. 

“We’ve had very few except for the one’s out in Jerry’s district, the 18 road crossing permits they keep renewing,” McReynolds said. “Other than that, it’s been few and far between.” 

While the fee for the permits won’t be a huge source of revenue for the county, McReynolds said it will help reimburse the county for road repairs, and, “every little bit counts.” 

In the case of the 18 permits renewed four times, if a fee had been charged for each permit, each time, the county could have potentially been looking at $36,000. 

The commissioners also approved Deputy Sheriff Donny Raley as a requisition and receiving officer for the Sheriff’s department Monday. McReynold’s said with current Carter County Sheriff Milton Anthony’s situation involving pending criminal charges and Undersheriff Gregg Johnson on vacation, Raley will now be able to make requisitions in their absence. 

An invoice from Pinnacle in the amount of $3,500 was approved, as well. Alvord said it was for a boundary survey along Dolese Road. The company has been working to acquire property along the road for right of ways in order for the county to move utilities.