Property owner holds up drainage repairs

Published 2:42 am Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Part of Devonwood Drive has been closed since December. Michele Gerlach/Star-News

Part of Devonwood Drive has been closed since December.
Michele Gerlach/Star-News

When December rains caused flash flooding on Christmas day, there was heavy damage to a particular city street.

More than eight months later, half of a portion of Devonwood Drive is still closed.

Mayor Earl Johnson addressed the issue briefly with council members during Tuesday’s called meeting.

The city has received a $120,000 Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) grant to help with the repairs, Johnson said.

“With that much money, we could put a real fix on the situation,” Johnson said. “However, we need right-of-way from an adjoining property owner who has refused to cooperate with us.”

The mayor said that the city’s director of public works, Glenn Rawls, has been negotiating with property owner John Tisdale, who to date, has not signed an agreement on the easement. The city had 200 days from the time the funding was awarded to complete the project, but it cannot start without the easement.

“W0831-ditchithout his cooperation, we will wind up not doing as good a job as we would otherwise be able to do, and it will hurt everybody in the neighborhood,” Johnson said.

The property in question has a 40-foot drop from the culvert to the bottom, city officials said.

Tisdale currently has a lawsuit against the city in federal court.

Devonwood Drive is located off Prestwood Bridge Road, just past the National Guard Armory. Covington County Revenue Commission records show that other property owners on the street are Marilyn H. O’Neal, Jack and Marcia Reichert, Amy and John Dugger, Adam Copeland and Anna Williams, Tavia Scott Fischer, and Gloria Pierce. Devonwood Drive provides the only means of egress for Tanglewood Drive residents, as well.