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John Thompson

Elizabethton Bureau Chief
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Carter committee takes road trip to check out drainage problem

July 11th, 2011 10:33 pm by John Thompson

ELIZABETHTON — After hearing complaints from citizens about drainage problems in various sections of the county over the past several months, the members of the Carter County Highway Committee took a tour of two of the areas following their meeting Monday morning.
The first stop was at Lincoln Heights Subdivision, which lies at the foot of Lynn Mountain and gets a lot of water draining from the mountain after storms. The members spoke with several residents and toured their lots to observe where water from recent storms had gone. They also examined deeds that some of the property owners had available.
The deeds referred to an original plat that showed the drainage plan for the subdivision that was filed in the Carter County Register of Deeds office. Members of the committee said they will examine the plat.
The committee members were less successful in finding drainage ditches and retention basins. Residents said ditches once ran through various properties, but they have not existed for some time. One woman said 60 tons of rock were hauled in fill the back section of her lot when her house was built. It was one of the earliest houses built in the subdivision. The committee members suspect the rock filled in part of a retention basin.
“What is happened is the neighbors have edged over and they have fudged just a little bit over the years until the ditches were gone,” Chairman Ernest “Gebe” Ritchie said.
After taking the road trip, committee members said it was the responsibility of the property owners to keep the ditches and retention basins open.
Their findings brought them back to where they were in April, when a letter was supposed to have been sent to the Lincoln Heights residence to inform them the ditches would be maintained.
Committee members wanted to know why the letter was not sent. Ritchie said Carter County Planning Director Chris Schuettler told them he had drafted the letter and sent it to Carter County Attorney Keith Bowers for approval. Ritchie said Bowers has not received it.
Committee member Joel Street said he would research the letter’s status.
On another problem brought before them, the committee said a drainage problem at 145 Taylortown Road because of new construction was not a road problem and took no action.
The committee approved proposals to recommend the addition of two roads to the official county road list. Those two are 75 feet of Runion Road that had previously been left off and Wild Rose Road, which will remain a gravel road but would be maintained by the Highway Department if the full County Commission approves the additions.

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