Russell County woman battles county to get her road fixed

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RUSSELL COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL)- A Russell County woman is in an ongoing battle with the county about repaving the road that leads to her house.

Mary Grissom has lived on Grissom Lane for several years, which was a private road. Because the road was private it prevented mail carriers and sanitation workers from coming on Grissom’s property. Grissom would walk to the end of the road to collect her mail and trash can.

Grissom soon reached out to the County in 2008 to change her road from private to public because she could no longer walk that far due to her failing health. The county voted on July 22, 2008, to change the blue private sign to a green public sign, allowing mail carriers and sanitation workers to come on Grissom’s property to deliver her mail and collect her trash.

Grissom is now facing a bigger issue, the road leading to her home needs to be maintained. The county has told Grissom they cannot maintain her road because it’s not public.

“The man told me it’s a public road now. He said ‘ now you don’t have to work it or do nothing to it because we take care of our road.’ I said okay, thank you. So they never came to work the road, no one never came,” Grissom said.

Grissom said she’s called the county numerous times and has reached out to Russell County Commissioner Cattie Epps to get the problem resolved.

“They tell me now, oh it’s not a public road it’s a private road. I said how is it a private road when the mailman, garbage man come down here,” Grissom said.

Grissom told News 3 Commissioner Epps told the county not to fix her road.

“When I called down there, the man said, ‘Oh Ms. Grissom, you’re talking about Grissom Lane? ‘ I said yeah. He said ‘ After you left there, your Commission told us we didn’t have to fix that road. All you wanted was the mailman and garbage man to come back there,'” Grissom said.

Commissioner Epps said the county legally cannot fix the road.

“The road was never changed from a private road to a public road, we changed the sign on the road to accommodate them. The mother said she was in bad health and she could not come out here to bring her garbage or pick up her mail. So the county was kind enough to accommodate her in putting the green sign there so the sanitation service would pick up her garbage and the mail service would deliver her mail,” Epps said.

According to the July 22, 2008, Russell County Commission meeting minutes, the motion was approved to change the road from private to public to allow public services.

Commissioner Epps requested the road sign on Grissom Road to be changed from a private road to a county road to allow for the resident(s) of that road to have public serives; they are now excluded from them, such a mail delivery and garbage pick up at their homes. After a brief discussion, Commissioner Epps made a motion to reclassify Grissom Road from a private road to a public road, but not add it to the County’s maintenance list. This is only so the residents can obtain thier mail. Their health is preventing them from being able to walk to the location it is being delivered to now. Seconded by Commissioner Robinson. The vote was as follows: District 1 (Lee) voted; no, District 2 (Cox) voted; yes, Distict 3 (Martin) voted; no, District 4 (Robinson) voted; yes, District 5 (Epps) voted; yes, District 6 (Dudley) voted; no, District 7 (Upshaw) voted; yes.

Grissom said she has one thing left to say.

“All I want to say is, I want that road fixed,” Grissom said.

County officials say in order for Grissom to get the county to fix the road, she must first bring the road up to subdivision standards.


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