Commission Defers Closing Lake-Access Roads, Renaming
HUNTINGDON (January 8) — Carroll County commissioners deferred action on two resolutions involving the gifting of two lake-access roads to a private developer and renaming another road.
A resolution was amended and then deferred to seek additional answer. The resolution originally called for the county to abandon ownership of 550 feet of Fisherman’s Cove Road and 700 feet of Kyle Road, and eliminate the county’s liability by transferring the property to the real estate developers. The roads would be closed to the public and a gated residential community would be constructed. The roads would be used as boat ramps into the Carroll County 1000-Acre Recreation Lake. The road, named Fisherman’s Cove on one side of the lake and Kyle Road on the other side of the lake was previously one road before Reedy Creek was impounded to create the lake, located southwest of Huntingdon. Other than the lone boat ramp at the lake’s headquarters, these new ramps would be used for the exclusive use of the residents of the gated community.
The resolution called for the private Knoxville-based developers to receive title to the county- built roads. The resolution was supposed to be the third of three steps to approve the process. Members of the Carroll County Watershed Authority and members of the county Highway Committee had already approved the proposal.
Road Supervisor Scotty Bailey said the county would be free of the costly maintenance of the road. When asked about where the roadway terminates, Bailey said the county Highway Department erected barricades to keep the public from driving to the water and the Carroll County Watershed Authority has added signage to indicate its boundary from the water’s edge.
Commissioner Joel Washburn said the roadway should have some monetary value. The taxpayers already pay approximately $240,000 in wheel taxes for the lake and another $60,000 annually is transferred to the Watershed Authority as part of an agreement to transfer the property taxes on the improved value of the land when development occurs. He added county taxpayers should not be enriching private developers by gifting the roads.
A $10 annual wheel tax on Carroll County automobile owners will continue until the year 2034 according to an estimate by the Carroll County Watershed Authority. The tax netted $3,243,574 from the year 2003 to 2016.
Commissioner Darrell Ridgeley, a real estate broker, and Ronnie Owen, an engineer, said the property has some monetary value. Ridgeley made a motion to amend the original resolution and establish a price of $50,000 for the roadway. Washburn seconded the motion and 13 commissioners agreed. Commissioners were preparing to vote on the amended motion – one to charge the developers $50,000, when Commissioner Lori Nolen entered a motion to table the vote. Nolen’s motion received unanimous support.
Mayor Kenny McBride said the matter will be considered again in March, the next monthly Commission meeting.
A resolution to change the name of Woodard Road to Joe Louis Foulkes Road was also deferred until a later meeting. The Foulkes family owns the land surrounding the road, which has no residences along the road. Road Commissioner Bailey said Ray Woodard, a resident of Huntingdon, had expressed a concern with the proposed renaming. Woodward Road was named in honor of a family member, who was also a county road commissioner. Bailey said the Foulkes’ namesake does not reside in Carroll County.
In other business, commissioners accepted $260,599.15 from the Carroll County Emergency Communications District (E911 Board) as a transfer of money to fund the purchase of new digital two-way radios for the public safety vehicles and personnel of the McKenzie Police Department, McKenzie Fire Department, Huntingdon Police Department and Huntingdon Fire Department. The radios will be owned by the county and used by the municipal departments. All other municipalities have already received digital radios for emergency responders.
The purchase of the radios will provide a communications link between all emergency departments in the county. It will also upgrade the five antenna sites in the county to accommodate all departments and all radio frequencies.
Two new members were approved to fill unexpired terms on the Carroll County Library Board. They were Lucas Mercker and Christy Brandon.
Notaries public approved were: Carol Arnold, Bonnie Autry, Deborah Ball, Clint Butler, Janet McClure, Kimberly Owens, Fran Ridley, and Alicia Runions.
Commissioners Joey Darnall and John Austin were absent. Mayor McBride asked for prayers for ailing James Darnall, Joey’s father.
PROPOSED BOAT RAMPS
A illustration of the proposed Fisherman’s Cove Road and a portion of Kyle Road being converted to a private, gated residential subdivision and the existing roads being used as residential access and lake access (boat ramps) on both sides of the lake. The proposal was approved by the Carroll County Watershed Authority but action was deferred by the Carroll County Commission.