Residents seek aid from county for relief from impassable roads

South Grady County residents anxious for the county to make improvements to the private road they reside on appeared before the Grady County Commission Tuesday requesting immediate aid.
Geraldine Dixon and John Reddick, residents of Pine Lakes Drive, requested an update on the timeline for work to begin on the paving project for Johnson Road, Pine Lakes Drive and Pine Hill Lakes Drive that is being funded with a Community Development Block Grant that was awarded to the county.
Johnson Road is a county maintained road, but Pine Lakes Drive and Pine Hill Lakes Drive are private roads. Property owners in the subdivision have donated the necessary rights-of-way with the exception of six tracts that have yet to be acquired. Until all tracts are acquired, the two drives remain private drives.
Gabe Ridley, attorney for the Grady County Commission, said he is looking to obtain drainage easements and that once the value of an easement opposed to an outright purchase is nailed down, letters to the property owners would be mailed.
In the meantime, Dixon asked if the county could put dirt in several huge holes that have formed in the middle of the road, which she said prevents emergency personnel from being able to access the homes of the south Grady neighborhood.
“No one wants to get that road paved more than I do,” Grady County administrator J.C. (Buddy) Johnson III, said.
Dixon said the more it rains the deeper the holes become. Reddick said he had had to spend thousands of dollars on his vehicle and was now having to pay for work on his new vehicle, which is a truck he says sits high off the ground, but is getting stuck in the deep holes.
Johnson asked county road superintendent Stanley Elkins to evaluate what could be done to offer some immediate assistance to the residents.
Another Grady County resident also appeared before the county commission seeking assistance for a private drive off of Courtney Lane.
Michael Moore, a resident of Courtney Lane, came before the board at its Jan. 22 meeting seeking assistance for the easement that provides him access to his property.
The county maintains Courtney Lane, but the road severely damaged by Hurricane Michael that Moore is seeking assistance in repairs is on private property.
Moore said he was not asking the county to pave his private drive like the south Grady County residents who spoke earlier in the meeting. He said all he was asking for was a culvert to be installed. Currently, Moore is having to drive through a neighbor’s pasture and out their drive, which he says is becoming more difficult with every rain event.
Road superintendent Elkins confirmed the drive is in “bad shape” and needs work. He estimated it would take half of a day to a full day to do the work necessary.
Moore said his only other choice would be to sue his friend and neighbor who owns the property, but is not financially able to make the necessary improvements.
Johnson said, with the board’s permission, he would work with the county attorney and road superintendent to determine if there was any way the county could do the work and have Moore pay for the labor and materials, but he predicted by the time he and the attorney did their research the cost would exceed what Moore would pay to have it repaired by a private contractor.
“So, I’m on my own,” Moore said as he exited the meeting.
In other news from Tuesday’s meeting, the board:
Approved payment of a progress invoice of $11,797.50 from county auditor Perry Henry for work on the 2018 county audit.

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