The Harlan Fiscal Court voted to abandon a couple of small county roads during a meeting on Thursday.
Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley brought up the abandonment of Russell Road to the court.
“That has been advertised,” said Mosley. “So I will ask if there is anyone in the room who would like to provide a case or contention of opposition as to why Russell Road should not be abandoned.”
With no objections from the court or any person in attendance, Mosley asked for a motion to abandon the road.
A motion was passed with no objection.
The court also approved the abandonment of McVey Road in a similar fashion.
With the roads approved for abandonment, magistrate David Kennedy asked for some clarification on the issue of ownership of the land the roads are on.
“These people that are requesting these roads be abandoned, they’re not assuming that they get the property are they?” asked Kennedy.
Mosley said it has been made clear when the county abandons a road it means the road will no longer be maintained by the county.
“Shouldn’t we go ahead and declare those pieces of property surplus and put them up for sale?” suggested Kennedy. “I don’t see a purpose in the county keeping a piece of an old road as county property when we’re not going to maintain it.”
Mosley explained many of the roads were built on an easement.
“A lot of them there’s not even deeds to, it’s just an easement saying we can put a road through there,” Mosley said. “So, essentially, that would revert back to whoever.”
Kennedy maintained that any roads that were built on property deeded to the county should be declared surplus and sold.
“That would be a good way to generate some revenue,” Mosley said.
Kennedy suggested dealing with any abandoned roads on an individual basis so this could be done.
“We would have to go through the process to advertise the property is for sale, have it appraised, and have basically a minimum bid that it has to come in at the appraised value,” Mosley said. “Of course, you get into a little bit of cost there.”
Mosley pointed out a possibility that the costs of advertising, appraising and selling the property may be more than the value of the property.
“That would be the only issue I can see, would it be cost prohibitive to do it,” Mosley said.
The court took no action on the issue.
In other court activity:
• The court approved a USDA Rural Development Legal Services agreement between the county and Rubin & Hays, Municipal Bond Attorneys, to perform bond counsel legal services for the levee certification in the amount of $4,000;
• An amendment transferring surplus money from the Caball Estates sewer project to the Wallins sewer project was approved;
• The court approved the opening of a federal grant checking account at the Bank of Harlan;
• The court approved the budgets for the Harlan County Clerk’s Office and the Harlan County Sheriff’s Office;
• Ralph Turner and Thelma Haley were appointed to serve three-year terms with the Harlan County Extension District Board.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde