County patched potholes on private road

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Magistrate chides fiscal court after officials admit work on Chico Drive

By Ben Carlson

County officials admitted during last Tuesday morning’s meeting of the Anderson County Fiscal Court to patching potholes on a private stretch of road off US 127.

Patching material ranging between a “wheelbarrow” load and 2 tons was apparently used to fix potholes on the private portion of Chico Drive, a road that leads back toward Bauer’s Candies near Tony’s Barn.

The issue surfaced when Magistrate Larry Smith questioned why Chico Lane was on the agenda that morning but the person who asked to have it included, Mike Fitzgerald, wasn’t there.

Smith said he was aware of problems with a portion of that road.

“I hope the county didn’t patch that,” he said.

Judge-Executive Steve Cornish said the county had done so, but added that he wasn’t aware at the time that it had not been adopted into the county’s road system.

“Well, we shouldn’t be on private property, spending taxpayer money,” Smith said.

Highway foreman Chip Chambers said the county was performing work a year or two ago on the front portion of the road, which is maintained by the county. He said there was about a “wheelbarrow” full of patching material left and workers decided to fill in a pothole instead of just throwing it away.

Chambers said doing so likely cost the county around $150 in material costs because at the time the material was about $75 per ton.

“So we put 2 tons in there?” asked Magistrate John Wayne Conway.

“Top end, around 2 tons,” Chambers replied.

“Which is the worse of two sins?” Cornish asked. “Putting it in a pothole or putting at the county barn and wasting it?

“Well, was it hot or cold mix?” asked Conway.

“Cold,” replied Chambers.

“Well, then it wouldn’t have been wasted,” Conway said.

Cornish, Conway and Chambers are all running for judge-executive.

The discussion launched Smith, who represents that area as part of his 5th magisterial district, into a lengthy discussion about how the county has taken over and repaired roads what he said are substandard roads built by developers.

“The people who develop should put the road sin right and do what’s right,” Smith said.

“We spent $280,000 across the road in [the] Honeysuckle [subdivision] that we shouldn’t have had to pay for.

“But if the court wants to let it slide, let it slide.”

Cornish said Fitzgerald had asked to be on the agenda to ask the county to take over maintenance on Chico Drive.

“Well he doesn’t have to now because the county has already fixed his road,” Smith said, who added that the road is also owned by developer Doug Dadisman.

E-mail Ben Carlson at bcarlson@theandersonnews.com.