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From Clay County Clay Supes Wrangle With Road Complaints — Dust, Abandoned Roads, Garbage Dominate Meetings

BY BRIAN JONES
Staff Writer
brian.jones@test.columbuspacket.com/packet

The Clay County Board of Supervisors heard complaints about roads in District 3 and District 2 at their June 27 meeting, as well as approving the budget for next year’s drug court.  At the July 1 meeting, a District 1 resident complained of the smell from nearby garbage trucks.

Brian Jones / The Packet Richard Deanes

Brian Jones / The Packet Richard Deanes

June 27 Meeting
Loretta Guido, Jason Deanes and Richmond Deanes, residents of District 3, complained about dust on Deans Road.  About 12 other area residents joined them in a show of support.
“It looks like baby powder was poured on that road,” Jason Deanes said.  “No matter how slow you drive, dust gets into your vehicle.  We also have breathing problems, my daughter’s nose runs year-round.  I’m not saying this is the only reason for that, but it’s definitely not helping.  I never ever used an inhaler before, but I do now since that powder went on the road.  We can’t keep it out of our homes, our noses.  You can’t pass an oncoming vehicle because you can’t see through the dust.  It’s terrible living conditions.”
Several members of the audience agreed, noting that the dust made it dangerous to drive.
“We put concrete clinkers down on that road to try to build a base that we could use to eventually pave it,” explained District 3 Supervisor RB Davis.  “That was a mistake.  It’s very dusty, especially with this dry weather, and it’s gotten bad.  We discontinued that.  What we can do right now is just put gravel on top of it to try to hold it down.”
Richmond Deanes questioned why the road hadn’t been paved.
“We’ve been hearing that road was going to be paved for a long time,” he said.  “I’ve lived out there for 43 years, and it seems like I’ve been hearing that for 40 of them.  Is there a deadline we’re shooting for?  Where’s the money going?”
“I see in the paper (District 1 Supervisor Lynn Horton) put in for grants, what have you done?” someone in the audience called out.  [This isn’t true – Mr. Horton sold $500,000 in bonds which will have to be paid back. – Brian Jones] “We are still paying off some bonds,” Davis said.
District 4 Shelton Deanes said that county roads are constantly being torn up.
“All of us have some kind of road problems,” Deanes said.  “I know I’ve done two bond issues, but as fast as I go and fix the roads the loggers come and tear them up.  We just don’t have the money to go behind these loggers.”
No action was taken.

John Bennett and another group of citizens came to ask about the status of part of Beacon Road.  Bennett said that there is constant conflict in District 2 over which parts of Beacon Road are public and which have been abandoned.  The issue is being further clouded by landowners who have had gentlemen’s agreements to cross each other’s land now denying access.  Bennett asked the board to state which section of the road is public and which is private.
County Attorney Bob Marshall said that it appeared that a part of the road which is believed to be abandoned is actually still on the county road map, and therefore would be open to public use.  He said that he could not definitively state one way or another without doing research, and said he would report back in the future.

Brian Jones / The Packet Jason Deanes

Brian Jones / The Packet Jason Deanes

[It appears that the road splits into three spurs, and it is unclear which, if any, of those spurs is a county road.  The waters are further muddied by the fact that a portion of the road was apparently erroneously dropped from the county road map back in 2000, but Chancery Clerk Amy Berry said she couldn’t find any record of it being officially abandoned. – Brian Jones]

Edward Houston reported that, in spite of state cuts to misdemeanor drug courts, the Clay County drug court will continue for the next budget year.  Houston said he thinks, after laying off one employee and cutting salaries for himself and the remaining counselor, enough money will come in from fees to keep the program alive.
Berry, however, said that according to her projections the money will run out in July 2014.
The board approved the program, but required that it be monitored on a month-to-month basis.
“We’ll stop the program if it can’t pay for itself,” said District 2 Supervisor Luke Lummus.  “When we approved this, it was on the condition that we not have to pay for it.”

July 1 Meeting
District 1 resident Donald Hollingshead complained about the smell of garbage trucks parked near his house.
“We get a bad smell because of where they’re parking those trucks,” he said.  “They park about 20 yards from my house.  As soon as they leave in the morning, the scent is gone.  When they come back in the afternoon, I have to smell them from about 3 o’clock to all night long.  I have to smell them all weekend.  I’ve talked to (District 1 Supervisor Lynn Horton) about it, and he has told me several times to talk to (District 2 Supervisor Luke Lummus) because he is over sanitation.
“(Horton) is my supervisor, and he controls that lot, and I don’t see why he has to come to (Lummus),” he said.  “He is my supervisor and it should be his decision.  When I’ve talked to (Horton) he’s just been unconcerned, and it’s just gone on and on.  Those trucks park right beside the fence, and you can smell it real strong.  There’s a place in the back of that lot where they could park and they wouldn’t be so close to me.  You got room to make a pad for those trucks.”
Lummus explained that the trucks have been parked there for years, and they are washed twice a week.
“(Horton) is not unconcerned,” Lummus said.  “He is very concerned, and he has talked with me about this numerous times.  Unless for some reason or another the power washer is broken, we wash those trucks every Tuesday and Friday.  We can park them further in the back, we can.  Mr. Albert Donald, who was supervisor for as long as I can remember, he was over sanitation.  He parked those trucks there since the early 1980s.  But we will definitely…like I said, they are washed with a high-pressure washer.  If it’s down we clean them with brushes and hands.  But we will move them to the other end of the lot.”
“They are not clean over the weekend, I can tell you that,” Hollingshead said.  “I’m looking at it.  When I see them trucks…I got pictures of them.  Those trucks are not clean.  Last weekend they weren’t clean.  Sometimes those trucks go two or three weeks without being cleaned.”
“Nu-uh!” Lummus exclaimed.
“Yes, sir,” Hollingshead said.  “Do you check them?  I know when they come in and they go out.  I’m next door to it.  They are not clean.”
The board took no action, but Lummus agreed to park the trucks on the other side of the lot from now on.

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