‘It’s been a longstanding problem and it’s time it needs to be fixed’ local attorney tells committee

Published 1:52 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2022

A treacherous portion of an intersection of Ingram Branch Road and Morgan Lane in Roan Mountain could soon be maintained by the Carter County Highway Department.
During public comments at the Monday highway committee meeting, attorney Bill Hampton appeared before the committee along with John Patrick Hampton to petition the commission to ask for assistance with a 100-yard stretch of roadway.
“It is a hazard and someone is going to be seriously injured,” Hampton said. “When it snows, it stays for a lengthy amount of time and it’s a hazard for people coming up and down the road. Even the postmaster of Roan Mountain has filed a petition asking that this one piece of Morgan Lane be worked and maintained by the county. It’s been a longstanding problem, and it’s time it needs to be fixed.”
County road superintendent Roger Colbaugh told the committee he had been to the location to measure it and that there were three property owners who would have to sign off on a 30-foot right of way. “They will give you the right of way,” Hampton said.
The full commission will be asked to approve the request after paperwork has been drawn up by county attorney Josh Hardin and signatures to give the right of way are given.
Chris Little also appeared before the committee to provide an update on the Highway 400 boat ramp progress. He told the committee that all paperwork has been finalized for the project and was asking for permission for the county highway department to provide the paving once the ramp area is ready for asphalt.
The land where the boat ramp is located is owned by the Tennessee Department of Transportation, which will be leasing the land to the City of Elizabethton for $1 a year. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is providing the engineering services and construction of the ramp.
Tennessee Valley Authority has granted $45,000 for paving of the parking lot while the city will provide signage, lighting and maintenance of the area. There will also be picnic tables and parking for 14 vehicles with boats and a small overflow area.
“There are a lot of paving businesses, but I would like to keep this right here at home,” said Little. “I want to make sure that the asphalt is done right so it will last for a long time.”
The committee voted to send the request to the full commission for final approval with the stipulation added by Commissioner Gary Bailey that $3,000 be added to the amount should the price of asphalt increase before the project is completed.
Prior to the highway committee meeting, County Schools Director Dr. Tracy McAbee appeared before the Education Committee to provide updates on graduation ceremonies and summer school.
The graduation date for Cloudland High School will be 7 p.m. on Friday, May 20. Hampton High School will also graduate at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 20.
Unaka and Happy Valley will have their graduations on Saturday, May 21. Unaka will host its ceremony at 5:30 p.m. and Happy Valley will commence at 7 p.m.
The last day of school for county schools will be Thursday, May 26. The county received money for summer school once again which will be the same as last year with school running Monday through Friday beginning on May 31 and lasting until June 23.

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