HUNTSVILLE — Scott County will purchase approximately one-half acre of private land for road repairs on Sawmill Road in Robbins.
That was the decision of County Commission on Monday, as commissioners gave a final stamp of approval to a request from the property’s owner, Lee Crabtree.
Crabtree first proposed the property transfer, at a cost of $3,000 per acre, to road superintendent Dick Sexton after the road department’s repair of a mudslide that rendered the road impassible forced a small section of the roadway to be relocated onto Crabtree’s property.
Sexton told commissioners earlier this month that his crews had no choice but to encroach upon Crabtree’s property after a portion of the roadway broke away and slid into a deep ravine, which was estimated to be at least 40 feet deep. Sexton said it would be cost-prohibitive to repair the road by filling the slide area with rock, and Rick Burke, who represents the 7th District on County Commission and is also employed by the road department, told his fellow commissioners that the price tag would likely surpass $300,000 if that route was chosen.
John Beaty, the county’s attorney, told commissioners prior to Monday’s final vote that he was to meet Crabtree and the county’s surveyor at the site on Wednesday, but said he estimated the parcel of property that the county would purchase to be about half an acre. Based upon the price Sexton and Crabtree agreed to, the land transfer will cost the county about $1,500.
The road is located in a remote area of the county between Robbins and the Low Gap community, but is used to access several parcel of property, some of which have been developed with cabins or campers. Crabtree approached County Commission several years ago and asked to have Sawmill Road removed from the county’s road list. His petition at that time was rejected.
Monday’s vote was taken with little discussion.