Road closing worries

Published 11:07 pm Wednesday, May 24, 2006

By By Mary-Allison Lancaster – Managing Editor
Amelia Wilson says her van used to be green.
That is until the town of Riverview closed River Road, which diverted a majority of the traffic down her road - River Road Circle -causing a stir of clay red dust to form for nearly 16 hours, only to settle on the van.
County officials said the town has the right to close the road, but they disapproved of how incident was handled.
Wilson and her husband Jim are the only people who live on River Road Circle. She said they often use a window unit to keep their home cool, but with all the dust traveling in the air they have been unable to turn the air unit on.
Wilson said her husband's health is extremely bad and the dust is causing major health problems for him. She also said motorists will often dump deer and fish carcasses at the end of the road. When the wind blows it sends an awful smell directly to their home, she said. Not only do the Wilsons have to deal with the smell, but motorists have been throwing beer cans right into their front yard.
During Monday's county commission meeting, Amelia Wilson, sitting with her husband, addressed the commissioners about the problem, who in turn wanted to set the record straight they did not close the road, rather, the town of Riverview closed the road.
According to Chairman David Stokes, the commission didn't even know the road had been closed until they received a letter from the Riverview town council in April stating the town would be taking over the maintenance of River Road.
However, according to County Administrator Tony Sanks, the letter did not mention any intent to block or close River Road.
Stokes said the town council didn't follow proper procedure. The proper procedure would have been a discussion about closing the road during a council meeting, setting a date for a public hearing, and then voting after the public hearing.
Efforts to reach Riverview Mayor Carl Smith were unsuccessful.
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