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Supervisors discuss private drive work

A Lincoln County supervisor Monday was critical of school busturnaround and private driveway issues and was rebuffed in hisefforts to help a disabled person with private drive work.

During a discussion on school bus turnarounds, District 2Supervisor Bobby J. Watts said school buses carry precious cargoand indicated turnarounds should be placed wherever they’re needed.However, state law and county policy limit what work can be done onprivate drives in the area of school bus turnarounds.

Watts’ comments came while supervisors were acting on fourturnaround requests, including one in his district where the drivein question is more than the 150 feet allowed for bus turnaroundwork. Watts said that distance was not much when a bus needed toturn around.

“It’s not good policy now, and it ain’t good tomorrow,” Wattssaid, mentioning a meeting in Jackson where he expressed similarthoughts.

County policy allows for maintenance of existing school busturnarounds, following school board approval, where a bus turnsaround and goes back in the direction from which it came or forsafety reasons. Other supervisors said some of the turnarounds intheir districts were for safety reasons.

District 3 Supervisor Nolan Earl Williamson said the county’s”hands are tied” on new turnarounds.

“We can’t go out and construct a turnaround,” Williamsonsaid.

“There goes the votes,” Watts responded.

Supervisors approved four turnarounds: three in District 5 onBouie Mill, Zetus and Macedonia Roads, and one on Heuck’s RetreatRoad in District 2. Board members said the approval was inaccordance with county policy and any work beyond the 150-feetlimit would be at an individual supervisor’s discretion.

In other agenda action, Watts attempted to get approval for thecounty to provide private driveway help for a blind man seeking tomove a trailer about 50 feet behind his mother’s home on Heuck’sRetreat Road. Watts did not identify the man while making hisrequest.

Other supervisors said they could not approve something that wasagainst the law. Williamson, with one finger over his mouth, andDistrict 1 Supervisor Cliff Givens suggested something like that bedone “quietly.”

“If someone wants to take a chance on doing something likethat….” Givens said.

In other road-related work, supervisors discussed efforts to geta contractor to repair several roads damaged during a water lineproject in District Three. Williamson said he would speak to thecontractor, and County Engineer Carl Ray Furr said he would talk tothe project engineer about the repairs.

Also, Furr informed the board that Illinois Central, nowCanadian National, had agreed to pay $140,000 toward the repairs ofseveral railroad bridges in the county.

Furr said $5,000 is set aside new rails on a bridge in BogueChitto. Furr said officials are also working to secure some federalfunds to assist in bridge repair projects.