Eutaw streets in dire need

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 24, 2005

Concerned citizens and mounting problems forced the Eutaw city council to take a close look at the status of the streets in Branch Heights and Kings Village. The roads in both areas have become littered with potholes and other problems, which have made it difficult for residents and emergency vehicles to comfortably drive through the neighborhoods.

Branch heights resident Luther White said the people o f his community want to see action.

“We really need to do something right now,” White said. “Whether it is a year away or two years away.”

White said it would only take one visit to the area to determine what a desperate shape the roads are in.

“I would like for all of you council members if you could to come down and take a tour of Branch Heights,” White said. “We have been fighting this for four or five years. We are in the city now and I want you to come down there and you will feel bad.”

White said most of the residents of the area make an effort to keep their yards in good shape. He asked that the city do the same for the streets.

“I keep my home up,” White said. “You need to do something for our streets. Our streets are in terrible shape.”

The streets have become so damaged that residents must establish a pattern to drive through to keep from damaging their vehicles. White said it was an embarrassment when people come to visit from out of town.

“I had relatives come in from Detroit,” White said. “I had to tell them not to come down there.

Told them don’t come in until I can come to the main road and guide you. That is sad.”

Eutaw mayor Raymond Steele said he knows the streets are in bad shape and is in the process of finding a solution. Steele said he would do whatever it takes to try to get the funding needed to improve the conditions.

“We are looking at ways to get funding for those roads,” Steele said. “We don’t want you to think we are sitting down on the job. Those roads are in need of repair and we will get those roads fixed. I am doing everything I can to look for ways to get funding for those roads,”

The problem with the project is the same with any project in a rural setting. The cost of repairing the streets could be as much as $2 million making it impossible until funds can be acquired. On the other side, there is a sense of urgency to get the streets repaired because emergency vehicles have had a hard time responding to incidents in the area. Steele said he understands why the people of Branch heights and King’s Village want to see action and said the council shared in their enthusiasm for results.

“We understand you passion for the situation with those roads,” Steele said. “We have that same passion here in the city and on the council. We want to do whatever we can to remedy the situation.”