County to inspect private roads
Planning Board members heard from Attorney Ginger Buchanan about questions raised regarding the inspection and bonding of private roads, and officers were elected for the upcoming year
Polk County’s Planning Board met last Tuesday in regular session. Board members heard from Attorney Ginger Buchanan about questions raised regarding the inspection and bonding of private roads, and officers were elected for the upcoming year. Arnold Hambright will serve as Chairman, Ivy Deal as Vice-Chair, and Stan Moorhouse will be Secretery.
At a public hearing last month, Polk County Road Superintendent Roy (Gene) Thomason asked about his duties and the legalities in regards to inspecting private roads. Developers said the previous administration would not look at private roads. Buchanan said there was nothing in the state statutes about private road inspections, but that the county’s interest was long-term. Roads designated as private could be offered into the county road system at a later time. Subdivision regulations require all roads to be to the county specifications.
According to Buchanan, the need to look at private roads is really oversight for the citizens. She said private roads can be regulated for school buses, fire departments, and postal service. Buchanan said many counties have an engineer who deals with the issues. She said it was not a requirement that they are inspected, but would be good policy for roads to be inspected by someone in the county to ensure citizens are safe.
Hambright said if there was no way to police them it would have made sense to take it out of the regulations. He suggested putting a block on plats to have the roads signed off on. Moorhouse said it would make sure everybody starts on a level playing field. Hambright said they had a road committee, but he did not know anything about roads and would prefer the road man did it.
Surveyor Jimmy Richmond said an engineer can certify the design is proper, but not the road. He said a design may comply with the regs, but engineers can’t certify the building of them. Richmond said the person signing off on the roads needed to be comfortable doing so and have been involved n the process.
Richmond pointed out that if the board signed off on a plat because roads were due to be public but were never finished or turned over, it would be the county’s responsibility to collect on the bond. All roads are technically private until they are turned over to the county, and roads that are made to become public roads are inspected.
Planners also discussed the possibility of no longer accepting letters of credit for road bonds. Questions were raised about whether or not a letter of credit is still good if a developer goes bankrupt. A bond would be good regardless. Mark Bishop asked what the commission would do if someone brought in a letter of credit from a bank from New Mexico that they knew nothing about.
Planners will meet again next month, with the meeting time changed to 7 p.m. Planners meet every third Tuesday, rotating between the Polk County Courthouse and the Ducktown Community Center.
Polk County News | P.O.
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