April 21, 2007


Why would the Public Works Depít grade and gravel an abandoned road when other roads that are used daily are neglected?

At the 4/2/07 Commissioners meeting, Mr. Allen Smith who lives on Felton McMichael Road asked that question. The neglected road was Felton McMichael Rd., which hasnít been scraped in over 4 years from one end to the other and has had little other maintenance.

Mr. Smith told the Commissioners that he had tried to go through the chain of command, but got nowhere! The County Manager never did get back with him after promises he would. The Public Works Director told him that he determined which roads to do and how to do them.

TWG has obtained the transcript of Mr. Smithís comments to the BOC. When he finished speaking, the Commissioners told the County Manager, Greg Williams, to make sure something was done about Felton McMichael Rd. Two plus weeks later, NOTHING has been done!

It is time the BOC started taking some action and replacing some ďsupervisorsĒ and maybe doing some supervising themselves. They might be able to find out just what does (or doesn't) go on in the county and get some things done!

Read below and see pictures of the road (Hayes Road) with no houses that was graded and graveled its entire length to the end where the bridge is out.

Transcript from 4/2/07 BOC meeting:

Chairman, Greg Johnson: Mr. Allen Smith.

Mr. Smith: Thank you, sir for hearing me. What Iíd like to speak about is the roads, particularly the road that I live on. I live on Felton McMichael Road.

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Felton McMichael Rd.

To make it short, it has not been completely graded from one end to the other in over four years and I can prove that. But my biggest complaint, in coming before the board today is youíve got a road that is condemned, the bridge is outóitís Hays Road and itís been scraped recently and itís got gravel from one end of Felton McMichael, all the way down to the bridge thatís out.

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Hayes Rd.

Now, I simply canít understand why I can beg to have rock and have our road graded from end to the other and when I called Mr. Thurman, I get, ďWe cover the hot spots.Ē I said, ďWell, who determines the hot spots?Ē He says, ďI do.Ē

Iíve also talked to Mr. Williams about it. He was going to get back and let me know an answer as to why Hayes Road gets rock and gets graded and I havenít heard anything yet.

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Hayes Rd.-no houses, but graveled & graded

So my question to the board is: how can you explain a road (Hayes Road) that nobody lives on, that is condemned, itsí bridge is out, it donít go from one end to the other end because of the bridge being out, but, yet, you have a road with families living on it and you ask for it to be graded, ditches need to be pulledóthe ditches havení t been pulled down there is almost 8 years.

You have to call and beg to get your right of way cut back. I talked with Jack (Bernard) once before and referred me to Greg (Williams). It seems like we just live in a lost land down there. I mean, the right of waysóI mean, IĎve made pictures of the road. Iíve made pictures of the right of way.

Iíve asked and Iíve tried to go about it in the right way through the right chain of command. But every time that I try to go through the chain of command itís: ďWe get the hot spots.Ē I called the last time it was graded. It was graded about three and a half weeks agoóthe hot spots. I called Mr. Williams about a certain spot that was not touched. He got in touch with them. The motor grader went down there. One of the red county trucks comes down there. I go down the road to see what theyíre doing. They move because Iím coming down the road and I watch in the mirror, the motor grader turned around and never puts the blade down and takes back off.

Now, my other thing is: Iím not trying to be smart with anybody here, but you have motor grader operators and you have people that can run a motor grader. We do not have a motor grader operator that can operate and grade a road. Iím sorry. You cannot go up that road with the blade down running wide open in high gear and expect the washboards to get out of the road. Itís not going to happen. Thereís just no way itís going to happen. I used to work putting down paving myself. So why canít it be done and done right the first time and avoid people from having to come up here and go before you over silly things like this that should be taken care of.

There is no supervision out there. They take them out there and they turn them loose. Youíve got two motor graders on the road at the same time and itís still just getting hot spots. When you get right down to it, if any of yíall will come out there and travel the roadóthe entire road is a hot spot.

You turn in off of 83 of onto Felton McMichael, the ditch that the county came out there almost six or seven years ago and cut and got with DOT to put in a new pipe to avoid the big water pool that was there, is slap filled up. Iíve got pictures of that. Itís slap filled up. Nowhere for the water to go, but back into the road back out onto 83.

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Felton McMichael Rd. at Hwy 83 S

Is it going to take somebody getting killed? Is it going to take somebody coming down Felton McMichael Road running 10 miles an hour, put on your brake, hit the rough washboards in there, the car spins out, you lose control. If you donít think you can do it at 10 miles an hour on a dirt road, try it.

Mr. Bernard: Mr. Chairman, Iíd like to knowóconsistent with thisóI agree with the gentleman and Iíd like to know why more hasnít been done to this particular road because I know Iíve discussed it with folks and the county and Iíd like to know why more hasnít been done with this road from the county manager.

Mr. Smith: I would like to know that also but, I just cannot understand why we can do a road nobody lives on and itís condemned. I donít understand that.

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Hayes Rd.--graded to the end

Chairman, Greg Johnson: Yeah, I canít understand that either.

Mr. Yarbrough: More than just knowing the reason why we havenít done it, let Mr. County Manager get down there and Mr. Thurman go down there and address that road.

Mr. Bernard: Right. I agree with that. I donít care what the answer is. I just want the road done.

Mr. Yarbrough: Sir,(addressing the County Manager) be sure you get with Larry (Thurman of Public Works) on that road.

Mr. Smith: Thatís all I ask. I appreciate your time.

Mr. Bernard: Sorry youíve been through all that.

Chairman, Greg Johnson: Thank you Mr. Smith.

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