Madison County has over 75 private drives and many property owners along those roads would like to have the county’s help in maintaining the paths.
But government roadwork on private property is against the law. The county can’t maintain private roads unless ownership is transferred to the local government. Madison County commissioners have occasionally discussed the criteria for accepting ownership of private drives. For instance, after the housing market crashed, several roads in local developments fell into disrepair and the county agreed to take on maintenance of roads in several subdivisions. Along with that move, the group outlined a number of guidelines for accepting private roads, such as requiring legal deeds and rights of way.
On May 5, the group once again talked about its road adoption policies. Commissioners have heard requests from citizens to have the county smooth paths with a motorgrader or place gravel on drives. In fact, some private roads present safety issues. For instance, board members say they want county emergency vehicles to be able to reach all residences. Likewise, some school buses might not be able to reach the homes of special-needs children.
Ultimately, commissioners took no action on their road adoption policies Monday. But commission chairman Anthony Dove asked each board member to present one private drive at an upcoming meeting for consideration of adoption. He said the county could never adopt all private drives at once, but it commissioners could present such roads, with priority given to public safety and special needs cases.
In a separate matter, the board discussed a proposal to eliminate permit requirements for carports, “lean-tos” and “pole barns.” After a lengthy discussion the group postponed a decision while county attorney Mike Pruett reviews what is required by law in terms of building standards for such structures.