Concerned citizens request help from Commission on 2 damaged county roads

Published 4:27 pm Thursday, March 12, 2020

By J.R. TIDWELL / Editor

A number of concerned citizens packed into the Chilton County Commission chamber during the group’s meeting on March 10 to ask for help with the condition of two county roads.

Kellie Jordan was welcomed to the podium to act as a spokesperson for the group. She said the citizens live in the area near the river on County Road 199 and 186.

She said the state those roads are in have left them impassible in areas, to the point where some residents cannot make it to their property and in one instance a nurse was unable to make a house call to a patient.

Several members of the group placed blame on a logging company that is alleged to have been working nonstop in the area despite all of the recent rain, even during storms. All of this work has taken a toll on the roads.

Jordan and others also allege that the logging company was dragging logs down the road, leaving vehicles and equipment in the middle of the more passable parts of those roads and even dumping trash and oil along the way.

Jordan and others made it clear that they did not blame the county for any of these issues, far from it in fact.

“The county has been doing better, working their butts off to fix the roads,” she said.

However, the residents allege that each time the county has fixed those roads, the logging company simply destroys them once more. Some residents said the loggers had even led to cut telephone lines leaving them without service.

Jordan said she and other residents have been in touch with the head of the logging company, but he simply will “dog cuss” anyone who brings an issue to him in her own words.

Chairman Joseph Parnell and Commissioner Allen Caton each addressed the crowd and assured them the Commission would do what is necessary to resolve the situation.

Parnell told the crowd that he himself is a logger, though the crew in question is not any of his. He said he will personally talk to the head of the company to see if he can find a resolution to the situation, one logger to another.

However, Parnell said he would also have County Engineer Tony Wearren and Chilton County Sheriff John Shearon monitor the situation.

Shearon, who was in attendance for the meeting, also spoke with concerned citizens and assured them he would take a ride out to those roads to check on their conditions and the activities of the loggers.

The residents say the company has been logging a parcel of 200 acres for around the last nine months.

Caton promised the group that if there was no peaceful resolution found between the county and the loggers that he would begin the process of taking legal action against the company.