Eutaw seeking permanent solution for Branch Heights

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 13, 2005

EUTAW-Recently the City of Eutaw and Greene County authorities agreed that road conditions for the Branch Heights area had become almost unbearable. After this agreement, the two parties also agreed the project had to be fixed.

Near the end of June a joint effort was put into place to provide a temporary solution to the problem. Eutaw Mayor Raymond Steele said they committed a lot of labor and materials to the project to get it done as quickly as possible.

“We shut down most of our day to day services and had them over there,” Steele said. “We had a truck load of coal mix to put there and once the coal mix was used we used the crushed -rock to fill in some of the holes.”

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While patching the road did bring a tremendous amount of relief to the residents of Branch Heights it was hardly a permanent solution to the problem. Tuesday night the council began looking at the big picture.

In order to properly repair the road a large amount of money will be necessary. City Attorney Mike Smith said the best way to get this money would be through grants. However, in order to get grants there must be someone taking responsibility for the area.

Recently, the city and county have disagreed on who should take responsibility for the repairs. Smith said he hoped to reach a joint agreement between the city and county, at least temporarily, to secure the needed funds. He said this concept has made some progress.

“The county commission authorized their attorney to work toward developing an agreement between the county and city where they could enter into a joint maintenance of the Branch Heights area so we could go ahead and make applications to the Highway Department for funds,” Smith said. “We can also look at future grant applications for funds and other things.”

Smith said nothing was final yet, but they had begun putting together a plan.

“We didn’t get a commitment that they would do it,” Smith said. “We did get a positive step on how we would want to work on the contract with the county commission.”

Smith said the paperwork had already begun and he should have an agreement for both parties to view very soon.

“I have started the process of drafting an agreement for their review,” Smith said. “A copy will also be given to the council member o take a look at it.”