County will leave roads open

Published 6:12 pm Monday, March 14, 2011

Public hearings were held at Monday’s Chilton County Commission meeting concerning closing County Road 528 between Verbena and Mountain Creek and County Road 502 in Verbena.

Don Burdette; his mother, Jeanette Jessop; and neighbor, Tim Norris, all residents of County Road 528, asked that a section of the road be closed because of numerous disturbances and lawless behavior, Burdette said.

Some complaints mentioned included littering on the roadsides and in the residents’ pastures and woodlands; drinking and driving down that road; theft of gas from residents’ vehicles and gas cans; shooting and killing of a calf in their pasture; and suspected game poaching, drugs and other illegal activities.

“We have put up signs that say ‘no hunting,’ but they shoot them down and tear them down,” said Norris.

Frank Robinson, who lives along the road, said he does not refer to them as “hunters who drink, but as drinkers who hunt.”

“That is a convenient hideaway section,” said Robinson, who is in favor of the closing. “They throw their garbage away there.”

Also in the room were numerous residents who opposed the closing of the county road.

Maurice Smith addressed the commissioners and said he would like for the road to remain open because it was a good shortcut and provided a quicker route in case of an emergency.

Five other residents also opposed the closing of the road because of its convenience to get to their family members and work quicker. They said it would be unfair to close this road because of complaints while other county roads face the same problems but remain open.

For the closure of County Road 528, a motion was made, but the road will remain as is because of the lack of a second.

County Road 502 in Verbena will also remain open despite the request for its closure by landowner Janice Wesson who complained about the “riff raff” at a previous commission meeting.

Chairman Tim Mims read a letter from the Chilton County Water Authority opposing the closure of the road because of water lines that are in use and will need to be accessed at all times.

No motion was made to close the road.

In other business, the Minooka Park campground is booked for Spring Break, but those interested can sign up on a waiting list.