County Road or Not?

May 18, 2007 - Posted at 4:28 p.m. CDT

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY -- To some people County Road 742 is considered a county road but the Craighead County believes it isn't. A quick drive down Craighead County Road 742 and one thing really catches your attention.

"It shakes you real bad," said resident Ronnie Birmingham.

A giant pothole in the middle of the road and it's causing neighbors like Birmingham a major inconvenience.

"We have to drive around it in the neighbor's yard and I am sure the neighbor doesn't like that," said Birmingham.

He isn't the only one; Maryanne Cammarata has lived on the road for ten years and says the problem has become worse.

"I have probably called the county on a half dozen times over the years and I have been told sorry about that's not a dedicated road," said Cammarata.

"We have a sign out front that says it is a county road and the plot to my land says it's a county road and they won't do anything for us," said Birmingham.

According to Ed Hill of the Craighead County Road Department, those signs are there for 9-1-1 service. County Road 742 is one of over 100 in the county that are considered private drives and the responsibility of residents.

A few years back the giant oak tree in the Cammarata's yard fell across the road and they say they were told by the county it was their responsibility to clear the road.

"I'm 67 and my husband is 76 and we had to get out there and take care of that tree until it was at least out of the road," said Cammarata.

The residents of 742 feel that because they pay taxes they are entitled to all the services of other taxpayers including the Craighead County Road Department.

"It's just it's frustrating," said Birmingham.

In the past, neighbors have tried fixing the problem themselves just to have the potholes come back bigger than ever.

"It would take, I would say less than a hundred dollars to fix the problem," said Birmingham.

However for now that is $100 dollars neighbors will have to spend to fix the problem.

According to Hill, the residents of a private road like 742 do have options. If they bring the road up to county standards, have residents sign a petition and give the county a 60 foot easement it is possible the county could take over maintenance of the road.