Stephens Co. Implements Moratorium on Accepting New Roads for Maintenance

Stephens County Commissioners do not plan to accept any new roads into the county road maintenance system through the end of the year.

On Tuesday, commissioners voted 4 to 1 to impose a temporary moratorium on the acceptance of roads into the county maintenance system for a period up to and including December 31.

County Commission Chair Dean Scarborough proposed the moratorium.

He said it is needed to allow the county to take care of the roads it already has for the time being.

“We have decreased the size of our road department to the point that we are having a difficult time maintaining the roads we currently have on our road list,” said Scarborough. “In fact, we have accepted a couple of roads in this year and we have not been able to get to them yet. We need to put a halt on accepting new roads because we cannot get to any new maintenance.”

Commissioner Debbie Whitlock was the lone vote against the moratorium.

Whitlock said she has concerns about the moratorium based on phone calls she has received.

“(There are) calls that have come in of people that their road had been changed to a private drive and they never asked for that to happen and the road was not getting serviced anymore,” said Whitlock. “If someone comes to me with a road that has been serviced for 20 years or more and E-911 comes in and says you have a private drive and since you have a private drive, (the road department) is not going to service your road, I have a problem with that.”

Stephens County Attorney Brian Ranck said that the commission can at anytime extend the moratorium or it can lift the moratorium early if it chooses to do so.