At the request of property owners and residents, the Madison Fiscal Court on Tuesday voted to close a 3,000-foot unpaved stretch of Bill Eades Road.
Erosion has created ruts and exposed rock in the roadway, rendering it impassable to any but all-terrain vehicles, said Judge/Executive Kent Clark. He had inspected the road, as had the Road Supervisor Leroy Brock and members of the county road commission, and all agreed it should be closed, Clark said.
Residents of the area do not use it for access. It is most often used for illegal purposes such as trash dumping or trespassing by all-terrain vehicles and vandals, according to the judge/executive.
Residents Shelby Burgin and Annell Bucher also addressed the magistrates with the request. No one spoke against the proposal.
Magistrate Billy Ray Hughes asked if the vote could be delayed until the next meeting so the issue could be given more publicity.
“One of the worst messes I ever got into involved closing a road,” he said.
Clark said legal notices had been published in the Richmond Register and signs posted on the road, as required by state law.
Magistrate Roger Barger said the road was in his district and “should have been closed years ago.”
Hughes then joined Clark, Barger and Magistrate Greg King in voting to close the road. Magistrate Larry Combs was absent.
The court’s action will allow property owners to erect fences and other barriers to prevent travel on the road, Clark said.
The court voted to apply for a $50,000 grant from the state Department of Agriculture to expand the animal shelter so it can accommodate more cats.
The space is needed to facilitate control of stray cats, Clark said.
Construction will be performed by county employees, which will fulfill the county’s obligation to match the state funds, he said.
The county also will pursue a grant that would fund connecting the animal shelter to the Berea Municipal Utilities sewer system, Clark said.
King said he had received complaints about trash being left and vehicles parked on roadsides in Brocklyn subdivision off Barnes Mill Road. The complaints had been relayed to Sheriff Jerry Combs as well as Planning and Building Codes Director Duane Curry, but the problem persists, King said.
Clark said parking along rights of way is common place and no enforcement takes place unless vehicles block traffic.
Curry said most of the trash is left by apartment dwellers who have moved away. At a Nov. 9 meeting with property owners in the subdivision, Curry said he will advise them of their responsibilities and work with them on a plan to prevent future problems.
Scott Tussey, the county’s solid waste coordinator, said he had not been informed of the problem, but would help work on a solution.
The county’s fall road cleanup has covered 250 miles of right of way so far, Tussey reported. Crews have collected 1,081 bags of trash and 14 tires. Cleanups should be complete in mid-November, he said.
About 100 large items such as furniture have been picked up as well as 17 large appliances, 21 pieces of electronic scrap and 30 miscellaneous items. Also, 42 recycle bins were replaced, Tussey said.
The county issued five violation notices for illegal dumps, he said, projecting a photo of a roadside dump on Oakley Wells Road near the Muddy Creek bridge.
Names and addresses were collected from items in the dumps, but most were for apartment residents who had moved away, Tussey said.
The county’s Loan-A-Truck program, for use by people cleaning out houses or lots, served 63 sites in the third quarter, Tussey said, and trucks have been reserved through Dec. 22.
The county picked up 267 livestock carcasses in the third quarter, an average of more than 22 each week, he said.
The recycling program continues to grow and collected nearly 191,000 pounds of material during the quarter.
New neighborhoods continue to join the program, Tussey said.
More than 9,400 pounds of material was collected Oct. 1 during the county’s annual Household Hazardous Waste Day, Tussey said. That included 5,900 pounds of paint, 1,200 pounds of flammable liquids, 645 pounds of toxic solids, 415 pounds of flammable aerosols, 180 pounds of flammable liquids, 590 pounds of asbestos shingles, 437 pounds of miscellaneous substances 28 pounds of fluorescent bulbs and 18 pounds of mercury.
Scott Seitz, a nurse practitioner who formerly provided medical services for the detention center, asked for and received apologies from Jailer Doug Thomas and Clark for how his relationship with the jail had been presented to the court in September.
Seitz said had not given the county only one day’s notice for the end of his services, forcing it to make a hasty agreement with a new, more-expensive provider.
He had given written notice to Thomas on Aug. 1, after informing the new jailer in January that he could not provide service past June 30.
Seitz said he had suggested possible replacements, and Thomas had conducted interviews in June. After Thomas failed to secure a new provider, Seitz said he provided services in July, but realized he could not continue and gave Thomas written notification with an invoice submitted Aug. 1.
Thomas’ statements to the court, as reported by the Richmond Register, misrepresented what had taken place and cast his professionalism in a bad light, Seitz said. The report had prompted colleagues to ask what he had done, he said.
Clark said the issue was a misunderstanding, and he added his apology on behalf of the county to Seitz.
Both men said no criticism was of Seitz was intended.
Bill Robinson can be reached at email@example.com or at 624-6622