Cedar Lane residents confront county about roads
by Michele Longworth
Nov 14, 2012 | 1030 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It has been a busy week for Massac County commissioners. In addition to the weekly Tuesday morning meeting, the board held a special Monday night meeting with residents of Cedar Lane subdivision.

At Monday night's meeting, held in the large courtroom at Massac County Courthouse, just over 40 residents of the subdivision joined forces to talk with the commissioners, State's Attorney Patrick Windhorst and County Highway Engineer Larry Glasco concerning the condition of the roads, which have never been accepted by the county.

Residents doing the most talking were Frank Walsh, Mike Beggs and John Ryan, who cited a Massac County's subdivision resolution, which was passed in 1987 and spells out the county has the power to force developers of subdivisions to adhere to the county's specifications by imposing fines.

Beggs questioned if Massac County has a record of ever imposing any fines on the developer, Gary Gentry. During the meeting, there were several questions and statements made centered on Gentry, who was not present at the meeting to explain his intentions or to clarify the situation.

Beggs said he had talked to Gentry Friday evening and also explained the quarter of a mile of road the county does maintain was accepted prior to the adoption of the subdivision resolution. Beggs said Gentry told him he never intended to keep the roads private.

"We're not here for a lynching party. We want to find out how to get the problem fixed," Walsh said.

Glasco said, in his opinion, the bigger issue is whether or not Gentry intended for the roads to be public and questioned whether or not he dedicated the roads in the plats that were filed at the County Clerk's office. Glasco said in his conversations with Gentry, he intended to build the roads so well that the county would never have to take them over.

Commissioner Jerel Childers stated that one of the problems is the shoulder width. Walsh said he feels residents would be willing to give the county an easement in order for the shoulders to be widened.

Another resident, Ted Scheve, observed there are several roads throughout the county that do not have adequate shoulders.

The consensus of the residents, as explained by Scheve, is they do not want or expect the county to come in and re-do all of the roads in the subdivision at one time, but they want the county to at least fix some of the worst potholes. He explained that possibly the worst 1000 feet could be addressed now and later other portions could be fixed.

At one point in the meeting, Commissioner Jayson Farmer said he feels the residents in the subdivision are under a hardship and, in his opinion, the fault lies with the developer and the county, which he said both made mistakes and hopes that both parties can find a solution. However, Farmer said the issue will be "using tax money to bring this road up."

By the end of the hour-long meeting, several things were discussed and questions raised, but no real solutions were decided. Commission Chair Billy Hillebrand explained the situation would require further discussion amongst the commissioners to determine what, if anything would be done.

To view the Monday night meeting with the commissioners and residents from Cedar Lane, individuals may go online and visit the Planet's You Tube channel.

The Cedar Lane subdivision meeting was a brief topic of conversation at Tuesday morning's meeting when Massac County resident and former Massac County Commissioner Doris Vogt dropped by the board meeting.

"I just have a statement to make," she told the board, saying she is aware of the situation with the residents in Cedar Lane subdivision. Vogt said when she was a commissioner the subject of accepting the roads was an issue.

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