ADA — Despite Pontotoc County Sheriff John Christian’s opposition, county commissioners voted unanimously to vacate two strips of road in the county (1660 and 1670) at a commission meeting Monday, May 13, 2013.
The father and son from the Ruse family were on hand for the meeting, along with their attorney.
Christian told commissioners he opposed vacating the two roads because his deputies occasionally use those paths to get quickly from one side of the county to the other.
“I understand John’s concerns,” said Commissioner Randy Floyd. “They’re concerned about response time, but the owners are worried about people who keep vandalizing the property.”
That land is located 4-5 miles south of Roff. The owners feared the little-used roads pose a danger to the public and liability for both the business and the county.
“Granted, it doesn’t happen very often,” the sheriff said. “Still, normally when we need to use those roads it’s during an emergency situation and we’d have to re-route.”
The valuable time lost, he indicated, could complicate efforts to catch criminals.
Christian was responding to an offer from Ruse and his attorney to provide a lock, or gate, for law enforcement officers to open up that area, if the deputies needed access.
District 3 Commissioner Justin Roberts said a portion of the road was actually in Murray County and had mistakenly been maintained by the county for several years, without compensation from anyone.
Vacating the road, he said would save the county money.
The decision was made easier for commissioners by the fact the landowners in that area had signed a petition supporting the idea of vacating the road and closing it off to the public.
He said the road hadn’t been maintained by anybody in the last six months.
“Murray County doesn’t even acknowledge the road exists,” Roberts said.
In other business, the commissioners voted:
• Unanimously to vacate a one-mile segment commonly referred to as County Road 1660.
• Unanimously to vacate a county section line road located along the south border of County Road 1670 following a brief public hearing.
• Unanimously to make application for $130,000 to the Emergency and Transportation Revolving Fund (ETR) for road improvement for a District 1 project on Old Highway 99, which would enable the county to be reimbursed for its expenses by the Chickasaw Nation once the project is completed.
• Unanimously approved National Association of Counties membership dues for 2014.