HUNTSVILLE — Motorists on Stanley Creek Road east of Oneida — including ATV riders accessing the popular off-road area of Chitwood Mountain — will be required to obey a stricter speed limit, following action of Scott County Commission Monday evening.
By unanimous vote, with 4th District Commissioner Rick Russ absent, County Commission voted to approve a recommendation from its Community Development Committee to set a speed limit on Stanley Creek Road at 20 mph.
The standard speed limit for roadways without a posted speed limit is 25 mph. However, the Community Development Committee recommended the lower speed limit following a plea by residents along the roadway, which is a dead-end street but is frequented by non-residents who are accessing the mountainous trails further east. Rachel Beaty presented the residents’ plea at a work session earlier this month.
While the issue initially appeared to be a non-starter, it gained traction after 2nd District Commissioner June Jeffers volunteered to pay for the purchase of two signs that will be placed to denote the 20 mph speed limit. The Scott County Road Department will place the signs.
The Stanley Creek Road speed limit was not the only road matter considered by commissioners, who started Monday’s meeting by hearing from JR Hembree about the status of Litton Covered Bridge Road. Commissioners also voted to name a road in the Glenmary community south of Robbins as Goose Creek Run for E-911 purposes.
Hembree asked County Commission to officially close Litton Covered Bridge Road beyond residential development. The road is effectively closed anyway, pending repairs by the road department.
Road superintendent Dick Sexton told commissioners at Monday’s meeting that the road “is not ready to turn over to the public right now,” saying it was in poor shape and that he is not willing for his department to assume liability in the event that a vehicle is damaged or a motorist is injured on the roadway.
The road is closed at the entrance to property owned by Steve and Marla Howard, Huntsville business owners who appealed to County Commission last year for the road to be closed. The basis for the Howards’ request was that they own the property on either side of the road’s right-of-way, and that the road dead-ends on their property.
The Howards later filed a lawsuit after County Commission rejected their proposal, seeking that a court order the road closed. However, a judge sided with the county, ruling that the road must remain open.
Since that time, a gate placed by the Howards has remained closed. County attorney John Beaty informed commissioners Monday that the county has control of the gate, “whenever Dick (Sexton) is ready to open it to repair the road.”
Sexton, however, said the time has not come to take that step. Previous cost estimates indicated that it could cost the county as much as $70,000 to properly repair the roadway, which is not used to access any homes or property.