The county road department’s policy on placing pipes in the ditches in front of houses was made clear during a meeting of the road committee Tuesday morning.
Fifth District Commissioner Jeff Yarber and 1st District Commissioner Ed Elkins brought the concerns of residents in two areas of the county.
Yarber’s concerns came from the Varnell Road area and Elkins’ were located at Meadowbrook Drive.
Some of the residents had offered to help with tile work that might help reduce the water flow; however, road superintendent Tom Collins said because he had not been made aware of those specific concerns that were coming to the committee, it was hard to give an answer as to any possible solution.
He said various technical and geographic details of the areas would need to be able to be checked before a potential solution could be determined, but assured commissioners they would be looked at and a determination would be made on both concerns.
Collins explained the problems associated with residents potentially putting their own tile pipes in the ditches aligning their yards and the roads.
“We do allow them to put pipe in and that way they can cover it and they can mow it. They do this under our (the department’s) guidance. We tell them how we want it done, what size pipes to use and to make sure to use a contractor who is bonded so if they mess something up, we want to make sure it’s made right,” Collins said.
“Once you put the pipe in front of people’s houses, it becomes county property and becomes the county’s liability,” he continued. “If it gets stopped up, it’s no longer your problem, it’s ours. For that reason, we want some say into what goes into those ditches, and we want them done right.”
Collins said the county would “never, ever” take the job of directly putting pipes in front of people’s houses.
“If we did, we’d have to stop paving, mowing and everything and take that time to put pipes in front of people’s houses,” he said.