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John Thompson

Elizabethton Bureau Chief
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Carter group looks to solve drainage woes

November 14th, 2011 11:11 pm by John Thompson

ELIZABETHTON — Rainwater drainage problems continue to dominate the discussions of the Highway Department of the Carter County Commission.
During a meeting Monday, committee member Joel Street suggested a letter should be drafted that would explain a practice of the Carter County Highway Department that could help with certain drainage problems.
Street said the letter should explain that if the property owner would purchase a drainage tile for his or her driveway, the Highway Department would install the tile at no cost.
Street said Carter County Attorney Keith Bowers should be asked to compose a draft letter. The letter could then be sent at the discretion of Highway Superintendent Jack Perkins as needed.
Street said when he goes out to exam drainage problems with the committee, “half the things we look at it is because they don’t have a tile in their driveway.”
Committee member Charles Von Cannon agreed. “Half of what I see are either stopped-up tiles or no tiles.”
“That is one of the biggest problems we have, isn’t that right, Jack?” Street asked.
“Right,” Perkins answered.
The committee then heard from Carter County Planning Director Chris Schuettler about solving another drainage problem.
Schuettler said a deal has been worked out with property owners in which a retention ditch will be excavated to collect runoff from phase II and phase III of a subdivision. In addition, as many ditch lines as possible will be cleared. Schuettler said he was waiting on the utility lines to be marked before work can begin on the retention ditch.
In other matters, the committee reviewed a draft letter from Steve Allen, director of the Project Planning Division of the Tennessee Department of Transportation. The letter indicated the flashing warning lights for some curves on U.S. Highway 19E near Tiger Creek Road would qualify for funding under the Spot Safety Program.
The estimated cost would be $71,550. The project would require a local maintenance agreement with the county.
Chairman Ernest “Gebe” Ritchie said that contrary to earlier reports, the money from the $51,000 grant from the U.S. Forest Service would not be enough to pave Dennis Cove Road. All the funding would be able to do is patch some of the holes, Ritchie said.

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