You Asked: Can I get free gravel for my driveway?

Published 12:05 am Saturday, February 16, 2019

Q: A Lincoln County man recently asked on Facebook how to get two free loads of gravel delivered to his home. He said he was told he could call his supervisor and get it dropped off so he could spread it himself, but so far he hadn’t received any.

“If anyone knows who I can call to get the ball rolling, let me know. My front yard is saturated when it rains and I need the gravel to make a driveway,” he said.

A: Taxpayer dollars are spent to purchase the gravel used by county road crews and can’t be given away for free, said District 3 Supervisor Nolan Williamson. Gravel costs the county anywhere from 75 cents to a $1 a yard and can go up to as much as $5 a yard.

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According to the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor, that would be an illegal donation under Section 66 of the Mississippi Constitution, and could subject the supervisor to personal liability.

While Williamson said it’s illegal to drop off gravel for a homeowner, there are times the county can help maintain a driveway. If there is a washout at the culvert, they can bring gravel and smooth it out with the county’s machinery.

“It’s strictly for the preservation of the road,” he said.

But even then, it would only be the area around the culvert, not the whole driveway, he said. And road crews would do the spreading, not the homeowner.

According to Mississippi law, supervisors have the discretion to grade, gravel or shell, repair and maintain private gravel or shell roads or driveways to private residences if the roads or driveways are used for school bus turnarounds.

“I cannot construct a bus turnaround, but I can maintain one if the school board OKs it and I go look at, within a 150 feet of the center of the (public) road,” he said.

The written request from the school board must be placed on the Board of Supervisors’ minutes along with written approval of the board, the specific location of the road or driveway to be worked, and the name of the owner of the road or driveway to be worked.