Gary Street paving issue in Columbus still not settled

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2017

COLUMBUS – Columbus officials are now investigating what part of the Gary Street right of way the town owns and what part a resident owns.

Last month the town decided to pave an 8 by 165 foot section of Gary Street with the intention of resident Rodney McKaig paving the other portion closest to his house, which is estimated at 17 by 165 feet. Columbus decided to pave a portion of the road after months of discussion over fixing a drainage issue there. The town is also placing a ditch there to fix the drainage problem.

Columbus Town Council met Jan. 19 and heard from Holly Hill subdivision residents Angie Leffort and Joyce Burnette, who both expressed concern over whether the paving will be public property.

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Leffort said she doesn’t think it’s fair to residents for the town to only pave half the street. Leffort suggested the town pave the whole street so residents can walk on it.

“How are people going to know which side is the town’s and which side is Rodney’s,” Leffort asked.

Columbus Town Manager Tim Barth first said it’s a public roadway, so anyone can walk on any part of that right of way.

Columbus Mayor Eric McIntyre directed Barth to contact McKaig to let him know it’s in the town’s right of way and people can walk on it as well as that he can’t paint a line. McKaig said last month he would paint a line where the portion of the road he paved is so people could tell the difference.

Councilman Josh Denton said he gets where Leffort is coming from.

“There’s potential for a lawsuit,” said Denton. “He paid for that.”

Town attorney Bailey Nager said it depends on who actually owns the right of way and it seems like the town owns that.

Holly Hill resident Joyce Burnette also spoke on the topic and asked if it will still be a town road if McKaig paves part of it.

Council directed Barth and Nager to investigate who owns the land underneath the road.

The town has not yet begun digging the ditch or paving the road.