HUNTSVILLE — Scott County Commission will again consider a request from a citizen who has asked that a road in the Brimstone community be removed from the county’s road list.
Dennis Pemberton appeared before County Commission’s Community Development Committee on Monday to request — for a second time — that Pryor Road, located off Brimstone Road in Robbins, be removed from the county’s road list.
Pemberton owns property on either side of Pryor Road at its intersection with Brimstone Road, as part of an 82-acre tract that lies on either side of Brimstone Road. However, he does not live on Pryor Road; his property is classified as agricultural land. He told members of the Community Development Committee last month and again Monday that his primary concern is that the county is maintaining what is essentially a driveway.
After Pemberton appeared before the committee at its March worksession, the committee voted to send the matter to the full commission. However, it died there for lack of a motion, with no commissioner willing to carry the resolution to the floor for a vote.
Pemberton reappeared before the committee on Monday, reiterating his request that the road be closed.
“My only concern is the fact that it is a driveway and the county is maintaining it,” he said. “I don’t think the county should maintain somebody’s driveway. I have no qualms other than that.
“They’re maintaining my property, which is nice, but they don’t need to do that for me,” he added.
Although Pemberton owns property along the road, there are two other landowners whose property is accessed by the road. Both of them have residences on the property, and there is no other access to their homes.
Pemberton’s request is not for the county to close the road, but to remove it from the county’s road list, which would relieve the county of its liability to maintain the road and make the property owners responsible for maintaining it.
County Mayor Jeff Tibbals said neither of the landowners who would primarily be impacted by the proposed closure have contacted his office to speak out on the matter. But, he said, “We haven’t made it to the public hearing phase. I’m sure when it becomes known that it’s being discussed to close it, they would be here or making phone calls.”
Road Superintendent Kelvin King told commissioners that his department spends $300 to $400 on the road each year. However, he said, there is a bridge on the road that was repaired using a USDA grant. Fifth District Commissioner Paul Strunk, who chairs the Community Development Committee, said that complicates the county’s ability to close the road, even if it wanted to.
At one point during the discussion, Pemberton told commissioners that if the county is “going to maintain their driveway, they should maintain mine.”
Jerried Jeffers, who represents the 2nd District, including Brimstone, on County Commission, pointedly remarked that Pryor Road “is not a driveway. It’s a road.” When Pemberton insisted that it was a driveway, Jeffers shot back, “It is a road. It’s got a road name.”
Pemberton said the road was added to the county’s road list in recent years without notification to him as a property owner. John Beaty, the county’s attorney, said that the road has been considered a county road since at least 1999, when a formal road list was adopted in accordance with state law.
In the end, the committee requested that Tibbals’ office make contact with the other homeowners whose property is accessed by the road before the issue is readdressed next month. However, it seemed unlikely that the issue would gain traction with commissioners.