County workers were stopped while performing work on Service Road in New Site by state workers. | Alison James

Archived Story

State claims ownership of Service Road

Published 11:37am Wednesday, January 30, 2013

County workers were stopped in their tracks during work on New Site’s Service Road.

“We’ve got some residents complaining about the grass growing over it and water running, standing in it all the time – general repairs,” said Mayor Curtis Mims at Monday’s town council meeting.

New Site Town Council asked County Commissioner Frank Tapley to have the repairs done, but as the county workers got started, the state intervened.

“The highway department man said it’s their road,” Tapley said. “We thought they had abandoned it and turned it over to the county, but they didn’t.”

Tapley said he is not sure how the state got involved – whether the project foreman or another citizen had called about the question of ownership.

Service Road runs parallel and adjacent to Alabama Highway 49 and used to be the old Highway 49. Mims said the state is claiming the road is on state right-of-way, but he had spoken with a previous county commissioner and found that the land as well as the road may actually belong to private citizens.

Tapley spoke with the highway department Tuesday, and state officials said about half of the road is state property.

Tapley said he will be in discussion with a county engineer to determine to whom the other half belongs or should belong.

Also at the meeting the council discussed an auxiliary Water Department bank account.

“It was created when the 200,000 gallon water tank was built,” said Town Clerk Shelia Fuller. “Money was put in it to pay the debt to Farmer’s Home.”

The leftover money has been drawing interest, but with accumulating interest now less than $1 a month, the council voted to move the money – $11,277.78 as of Dec. 31, 2012 – into the regular checking account and put it toward covering the cost of the chlorinator.

The council also

- voted to hire Rhonda Scott to clean the fire department once a month.

- voted to use Capital Improvement funds to cover the cost of tar-n-gravel for the Recreational Park parking lot.

- voted to amend the Water System Budget to include purchase of the chlorinator system, from $15,000 to $25,000

- heard an update on the chlorinator for Hillabee Pumping Station, which has been purchased and delivered.

- heard an update on the new computer for the police department, which has been purchased

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