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Engineer: County plans to build second road

KAITLIN MULLINS / Ryan Holmes (left) discusses road easements with the Board of Aldermen during a work session held Thursday afternoon.

KAITLIN MULLINS / Ryan Holmes (left) discusses road easements with the Board of Aldermen during a work session held Thursday afternoon.

During a continuation of Tuesday’s aldermen meeting, County Engineer Ryan Holmes presented current plans for the future baseball complex. Holmes discussed projected timelines and addressed city officials’ concerns about parts of the plan dealing with shared responsibility between the city and county.

Current plans for construction include upgrading and expanding the city’s current access road to the Hansel King Softball Complex, beside which the baseball fields are to be constructed. The single access road will be used for both complexes initially, before a secondary access road is to be built by the county during phase two of construction.

Concerns were raised by city officials that after widening and upgrading the current access road, the county may not put a priority on building a  secondary road. The City worried congestion and possible convoluted traffic flow to the complexes could be the result.

In order to begin the project the city and county must agree to terms of an easement, a legal provision which would allow the county to move forward with the work on the current access road.

Holmes said he wanted to assure the board of the county’s intention to build the road.

“This is the proposed road that goes between the RV park and the arena, that there’s been a lot of discussion about,” he said, referring to the plan. “I just want to assure you it’s in the plan. … It’s part of the big picture.”

Holmes and city attorney Joe Fernald addressed the board on the several different types of easements, explaining that the legal document is binding only to its specific terms. The easement being rendered between the city and county is to be a permanent easement, which Fernald explained in this case means that the county will have access to the city road for the planned expansion work, and for any necessary future repairs.

The county and city have agreed that the cost for any future work on the road would be split 50/50, and the provisions of the easement will ensure that when those repairs are needed, the county will be allowed to execute them. Mayor Joe Cox noted that the terms of the easement would actually hold the county and the city accountable to the agreements, as a temporary easement would bar the county from executing any work on the road.

“I just don’t think there’s anybody out there trying to deceive or not build something,” Holmes said. “From the get go, this road was proposed and this [secondary] entrance was the concept we came up with. … [a] concept developed probably 2010-ish – five years ago.”