Access to perineal routes revisited during a meeting of the departmental committee
Jasper, Tennessee – Last County Commission Meeting The Marion County Commission grappled with another issue of access to non-departmental roads in the
The Commission supported County Mayor David Jackson’s recommendation and gave Jackson the green light to sign a resolution on behalf of the county to designate September as “Suicide Prevention Month.” The county has supported this awareness program in recent years following National Suicide Awareness Month as well as the nationwide designation of September 5-11 as Suicide Awareness Week.
The board, without dissent, accepted a recommendation given by the county mayor’s office to appoint Laura Inglis to the library board to replace Charlie McEntyre who served the maximum two consecutive terms of three years on the county board of directors. Marion.
The board of directors also approved a distribution of $ 383,281 in grants to local communities at the recommendation of the mayor:
- One-time payment of $ 75,000 to rural fire departments and rescue teams
- $ 20,000 Supplement to Marion County Emergency Management Agency
- A one-time, maintenance-free effort for libraries for $ 25,000
- $ 40,000 to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office for a new Special Response Team (SRT) vehicle
- Along with a budget amendment of $ 27,719 from the general fund, $ 222,281 of the grant would go to the Marion County Roads Department for road paving.
A request to abandon South Bluff Road as one of the county’s roads has been filed pending further information to Commissioners. Superintendent of Roads Jim Hawk told the commission he was approached by a landowner who had purchased “five lots” on a culdesac and told Hawk he would use one of the lots to provide a place to stay. emergency vehicles, namely fire trucks, to turn around. Commissioner Abbott specifically asked if there were other landowners who would be affected and Hawk said no. Commissioner Joey Blevins wanted to hear from the Elder Mountain Fire Department before making a decision on this.
Recalling an earlier debate in the commission, a county request to cede part of a road to a private landowner was brought before the commission. The request was for English Cove Road resident Gary Hooper, who owns the property at the end of the officially mapped portion of English Cove Road. His request, through the Hawk Highway Superintendent, was that the county return that portion of the highway to him as the landowner. A number of residents have come forward to protest, saying the road has been used “for decades” by locals to navigate the area. Chris Morrison “I have been asked to look into this question and the reason is that it is a two part problem… the Old Whitwell Mountain Road that becomes English Cove Road was the first road up Whitwell Mountain in 1878. Everyone who was born and raised in the Whitwell area, this is where their ancestors worked for generations. This is where the old mining operations are and still are today. This road was accessible, coal was removed from this road until the mid-1960s. This road has existed for one hundred and forty years. One of the reasons I was associated with it was that in the early 200s I was the general manager of the town of Whitwell. At the time, we were looking for alternative water sources. I contacted US Steel, which was the primary owner of thousands of acres in the area, and requested certain easements for the town of Whitwell. At that point, they took all of their easements that were within a two or three mile radius of that area and ceded those easements to the town of Whitwell. Morrison admitted that Hooper’s property was at the end of the “landscaped road”, but that access had been widely accepted by the rest of the undeveloped road, including exclusive or secondary access to other properties. by means of “four-wheel drive vehicles”.
Lawyer Thomas Austin also addressed the commission on the matter. “I’m here on behalf of Rick Jacobs who owns a property along this historic stretch of road we are talking about… and who has owned the property since 1992. His property is unique in that it is about ‘a tourist attraction (JUSTFLY-SVS FLIGHT). Locally, this is a launch site for hand gliders. Austin maintains that there is a 4,300 foot stretch of historic highway that contributes to tourism dollars that are spent locally and asked the commission to consider this, among other things, about the obstesib closure of the road by freeing the road to Mr. Hooper. In the end, opted against granting the road release to Hooper. The vote was taken without dispute.
The next regular monthly meeting will be on September 27 at 6 p.m. at the Lawson Building at 300 Ridley Drive in Jasper.