Support for road not shared by county officials

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By Damon Lawrence

Sharon Brown usually comes alone when she addresses the Roane County Commission about road problems in her subdivision.

Last week’s meeting was different, however.

“I have several people from Pioneer Village standing up (in the audience),” she said.

Brown lives on Bournemouth Drive south of Rockwood. The ruts are so bad on the dirt and gravel road that Brown said delivery trucks have stopped coming. For months, she’s been asking commissioners to do something about the situation.

The show of support Brown had at the December meeting didn’t move officials to do something about the problem, however. County Attorney Tom McFarland said it’s a private road, which limits what commissioners can do.

“If you get into taking this because it’s a bad situation, that’s a good thing in and of itself,” McFarland said. “But the problem is the precedent you set.”

McFarland cited the “Weston Tucker illegal subdivision” South of the River. He said the roads in the subdivision were never brought up to specs and deteriorated.

“They filed a lawsuit asking the county to take those roads,” he said. “Of course, we couldn’t do it and the judge said, ‘No, the county never accepted those roads.’”

In his opinion, McFarland said the commission will have to accept the Weston Tucker roads if it accepts Bournemouth.  

“All across the county you’re opening the flood gates,” McFarland said. “You’re opening a Pandora’s box.”

Brown is not deterred. The day after the meeting she said she plans to continue her crusade.