The county is asking for public comments regarding a measure to close a portion of Stubblefield Road to public use.
Highway and Bridge Committee members will meet at 4 p.m. March 10 for a public hearing on a closure request received back in October 2015 from Jason and Angela Wells. Stubblefield Road is in Viola and is in the area of White Hall Road, Baker Road and Steakley Road. The section under consideration for closure dead ends and is 1.41 miles of roadway. The couple own the property along both sides of the road.
Asking the county to close a street means the Warren County Highway Department is no longer responsible for maintenance. Instead, the property owner is responsible for upkeep. If the property owner requests the county to reopen the street, for whatever reason, it must be brought up to county standards at the property owner’s expense before consideration is given.
Highway and Bridge Committee chair Gary Prater expressed concern about past issues when a road has been closed due to a property owner’s request and then, years later, the property owner wants to reopen it. However, he instructed Glenn to begin the necessary paperwork while he contacts the couple to make sure they understand the complications associated with reopening a street once it has been closed.
What seemed like a simple closure request became complicated in November when calls from concerned residents informed the Highway Department a cemetery is located on the road. While the cemetery doesn’t touch Stubblefield Road, the street provides the only access.
Glenn stated in November he was unaware of the cemetery’s existence when the request was received.
He said public access to it would have to be addressed and a hearing set to listen to comments from concerned citizens.
“I drove back there and looked at it,” said Glenn during December’s meeting. “It’s a nice, little cemetery. Someone told me the cemetery is called Caten-Stubblefield Cemetery.”
The public hearing will be held at Warren County Highway Department, located at 1520 Old Smithville Road.