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The road not taken

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Wildwood Lane residents renew request after county accepts Bournemouth responsibility

By Damon Lawrence

The Roane County Commission’s decision to accept a portion of Bournemouth Drive into the county road system last month didn’t go unnoticed.

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“We want our road took over by the county also,” said Tim Phillips, who lives on Wildwood Lane in the Dyllis area.

So far officials have said no to the request, but Phillips along with some of his neighbors plan to continue pursuing the issue with county officials. Phillips said it’s an issue of fairness now that the county has accepted Bournemouth.

“We were told no and it just kind of shocked us when the roads down there got took over when they didn’t meet the specifications, either,” Phillips said. “We’re just wanting fair treatment, so we’re going to

go down there and express our desire for them to take our road over.”

The Commission voted 11-2 on Aug. 14 to adopt the portion of Bournemouth, along with West Williams Circle and Lake Overlook Drive.

Commissioners David Bell, Ron Berry, James Brummett, Peggy Collier, Benny East, Todd Fink, Carolyn Granger, Junior Hendrickson, Chris Johnson, Darryl Meadows and Stanley Moore voted yes.

Randy Ellis and Greg Ferguson voted no. Mike Hooks and Steve Kelley did not attend the meeting.

“We’re just waiting now to see how long it’s going to take them to get it fixed,” Bournemouth resident Sharon Brown said.

Bournemouth, along with West Williams and Lake Overlook, are south of Rockwood in the Eagle Furnace area.

“There have been some questions from the residents as to why we have not already started working on those roads,” County Attorney Greg Leffew said. “The reason is because we need to get the right of way issues resolved first. I can’t began to do that until I have the survey.”

Roane County Road Superintendent Dennis Ferguson didn’t support the resolution to accept the roads. He said Monday that in order for his department to fix up the roads, the Commission will have to put additional money in his budget to do it.

The Tennessee General Assembly passed the IMPROVE Act earlier this year. The law provides additional state funds to counties, including Roane, for road infrastructure.

Ferguson said the IMPROVE Act funds are for roads that were already on the county road list, not new roads the Commission votes to accept.

The Commission’s Road Committee is scheduled to meet Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the courthouse in Kingston. Phillips said he and others who want the county to take over Wildwood Lane are planning to attend.

Phillips said the residents are trying to get on the same page with the Road Committee as the residents of Bournemouth, West Williams and Lake Overlook.

“We just want to sit down and talk and see what needs to be done in order for them to take our road over like they did the most recent roads,” Phillips said. “We just want to try to get on that same list.”