March 6, 2013 10:41:24 AM
Sarah Fowler - [email protected]
The Lowndes County Board of Supervisors said it needs more time to repair Co-Op Road.
During Monday's meeting, the board asked board attorney Tim Hudson to file an appeal against a February judgment that ordered the county to reopen Co-Op road.
However, board president Harry Sanders said the appeal is not meant to fight the judgement but is intended to give the county more time to repair the road.
A judge issued an order on Feb. 5, demanding the county re-open Co-Op road within 30 days.
In October 2011, the county opted to abandon Co-Op Road. Located off Military Road, Co-Op Road runs alongside the Columbus Co-Op. When the county abandoned the road, more than a dozen residents were affected. The residents complained that when the county abandoned Co-Op Road, Columbus & Greenville Railway barricaded the roadway, leaving narrow Bethel Road as the only access road to their properties.
C&G Railway barricaded the roadway to begin repairs on a railroad crossing that intersected with Co-Op Road.
Led by landowner and local attorney Hal McClanahan, the residents filed a suit against the county, demanding they reopen the road. In February, the judge ruled in favor of the residents.
"He said we had to open that road within 30 days and we didn't have time to do that," board president Harry Sanders said. "Burlington Northern is going to re-do the Bethel Church (Bethel Road) crossing but they can't do that unless the Co-Op Road is open. The C&G is going to open that crossing at the Co-Op."
Sanders said while the county was ordered to re-open the road, the issue of the easement to the property will remain between the railway and the McClanahans.
"Co-Op Road is going to be opened back up temporarily by the C&G railroad. Once the Bethel Church (Bethel Road) crossing is upgraded and widened with signal lights, then it is going to be between the McClanahans and the C&G about the easement on Co-Op Road."
Neither McClanahan nor representatives from C&G Railway was available for comment.
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.