ELIZABETHTON — After months of discussion and delay, it appears several drainage and paving projects being considered by the Highway Committee of the Carter County Commission are making progress.
The committee met Monday morning and heard proposals and reports from Mayor Leon Humphrey and from Carter County Planning Director Chris Schuettler and County Attorney Keith Bowers Jr.
Humphrey had good news for the committee on Dennis Cove Road. He said the county has received a $53,000 grant from the U.S. Forest Service to pay for materials to pave a 5-mile section of the road. Humphrey said the Resource Advisory Committee has approved the expenditure. The county will provide the labor and equipment for the job, which should total $89,000.
Schuettler presented a plan to solve a drainage problem in Lincoln Heights Subdivision. The problems have been discussed monthly by the committee for several months. The subdivision receives a large amount of water from nearby Lynn Mountain during rain storms. Schuettler said the original drainage system has been blocked over the years by residents filling in retention basins, paving driveways without installing tiles and other activities that led to drainage problems.
Schuettler proposed constructing a retention ditch completely on county right of way. He said the ditch should have a width of 12 feet, a depth of 2 feet and a length of about 130 feet.
The ditch would catch and hold the water coming from Lynn Mountain. He said the layer of clay on which the ditch was excavated should be broken up to help the water drain.
“This is the cheapest and easiest route,” Schuettler said.
“I don’t have a recommendation,” Bowers said. “This is a very mature subdivision with paving and landscaping. ... This is the most noninvasive method, as long as we stay within our right of way, we are fine.”
The committee approved the plan with only John Lewis dissenting .
Schuettler said he is still working with property owners on a section of Taylortown Road, where there has been drainage problems since a residence was established on a hill a few years ago.
A resident recently reported to Schuettler about a drainage problem on the Hampton end of a section of Railroad Grade Road. A resident said water is ponding on a section of the road and damaging the pavement.
The committee was told the section of the road is not on the county’s official road list, but it is listed as a U.S. Forest Service road. Schuettler said he did not know what the responsibility of the Forest Service was in maintaining the road for property owners.
The committee said two additional roads should be added to the county road list during its next submission to the state in January. The two are Wild Rose Road and the final portion of Runion Street. The County Commission has already voted to include Runion and Wild Rose.