ELIZABETHTON — Once again a meeting of the Highway Committee of the Carter County Commission was dominated by discussions of water drainage problems.
A citizen, Harvey Tester, came to the committee Monday morning to discuss serious drainage problems in the Biltmore community near the intersection of Taylor Avenue and Hartley Road.
He said the ditches have not been cleaned in 10 years and neighbors have filled in their ditch lines, causing the water to flow onto the roads. The problem was made worse, Tester said, by the road being sloped toward a row of houses and away from the ditch line.
The result has been severe damage to some houses, Tester said. One house has sustained an estimated $50,000 in water damage.
“This is one of those things, we have them all over the county,” Chairman Ernest “Gebe” Ritchie said, “where people want to fill in their ditches and mow their yards all the way to the roads.”
The committee also heard complaints about heavy trucks hauling shale from a site on Cripple Creek Loop in the Range community.
Ritchie said if the road provided the only access to the property there was not a lot the county could do besides erect signs warning of heavy traffic and trucks. Committee member Pat Hicks said any restrictions would require an engineering study.
There was discussion on whether state law required the trucks to keep the roads clear of dirt and mud tracked by the heavy trucks.
Committee member Joel Street thanked Highway Superintendent Jack Perkins for the good job his men performed in erecting the new bridge in the Sally Cove community.
Perkins said the state has the installers of guard rails busy at the moment. When one of the installers comes free, he said guard rails will be installed on the new bridge.