MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – On Wednesday, residents who live on Shin Point Road in New Hope faced the Marshall County Commission seeking answers after numerous complaints about the dangerous conditions they say exist on the road.
Residents tell News 19 that the road is a safety issue, and the commission says the road was put in by a developer who never officially turned it over to the county.
In a previous story told by News 19, residents claimed that the road is so bad that they can’t get city services, regular deliveries or emergency service vehicles to make it up the side mountain road to attend to the elderly.
“We have more than one elderly couple up at the top and I feel like that’s on them,” Sue Vanderberg, who attended the commission meeting, said. “I wouldn’t want to sleep with that on my conscious and I just feel like there could be some more done a little sooner.”
Three years ago, the residents asked the county to take over the maintenance of the quarter-mile length of the road. However, District 2 Commissioner Rick Watson told News 19 that when the road was made by a developer decades ago, it was never officially added to the county’s inventory list.
“It was just pushed in there with a bulldozer, and the guy marked off some lots and sold the lots. When he got his lots sold, he got his pockets full and he left,” said Watson.
Due to the developer not following up on proper procedures, the repairs are out of the county’s hands. “There’s processes in place and laws that road cannot be taken into the Marshall County inventory in its current condition,” said Watson.
Watson informed the residents today that his plans are to build a water tower at the top of the mountain, therefore, making it his responsibility to manage the easement to the tower. Watson says those plans are already in place.
“I don’t see it ever being paved because all it’s going to be is an easement,” said Watson. “They can use my easement to the water tank to travel that road to get to their property, and I will maintain that road.”
Vanderberg, who has plans to run for the District 2 seat in 2024, says Watson has not communicated the exact plans to the Shin Point Road residents. “We appreciate his efforts, but I do think there could be more communication involved in the process,” said Vanderberg.
Watson says that the full repairs to Shin Point Road were assessed by a developer at a cost of nearly one million dollars. That’s money that he says that the county does not have.
Watson says that the water tower project will begin before the end of the year.