Ownership of local roads debated

By Megan R. Harrell
Star Staff

   The Carter County Highway Committee is trying to determine the ownership of two local roads. The roads under investigation are Redskin and Clemson Drives, off the Milligan Hwy. Both are access roads to the College View Heights subdivision.
   Ruby Maxey represented the subdivision before the Highway Committee on Tuesday afternoon. Maxey stated that the roads were deeded as county roads back in 1964, and believes that the county should be responsible for maintaining them. "We are asking for a commitment from the county to bring these roads up to standards and to maintain them after that," Maxey said.
   The roads are in need of serious attention as they have not been on the county's highway list for some years. College View Heights property owners stated that they had completed title searches spanning over 100 years, and could not locate a time when the roads were removed from Carter County's highway list. They stated that the county had "conveniently forgotten" about the two roads that are approximately 175 feet a piece in length.
   The roads could have first been left off the county's highway list back in the 1980s when the state passed a Uniform Highway Law. The Highway Department was required to form a map showing every road the county serviced. Neither Redskin or Clemson Drives were on the map that resulted from the Uniform Highway Law over 20 years ago.
   The County Commission has to accept a road in order for it to become the county's property. It also must delete a road from the county's highway list in order for it to become a private road again. The Highway Committee is investigating the roads' deeds and will refer the situation to County Attorney George Dugger for further historical review.
   The state prohibits the Highway Department from servicing roads that are not on the highway list. If Carter County violates this law the state could cut the money it sends to the county for road maintenance.
   The poor condition of Redskin and Clemson Drives has led to major inconveniences and delays for landowners. Lending institutions will not grant loans to property owners wishing to build homes in the College View Heights subdivision until the roads are upgraded.
   Members of the Highway Committee assured residents from the College View Heights subdivision that they would have an answer for them by April. If investigation reveals that the roads were never removed from the county's highway list by the County Commission, then the necessary steps will be taken to have them added again.