Resident Says County Doing Private Work

The ongoing controversy between residents of one eastern Lauderdale County road and the board of supervisors surfaced again at a board meeting Monday.

Those living along Kewanee Church Road are accusing the county of doing private work for the man who donated the land to the county where the new road is being built.

County officials deny those accusations and maintain the need for the road.

"But he pushed dirt and trees way away from the road for, I guess, about two hours Friday morning," said Arthur Tool, who opposes the construction.

Tool is accusing the county of doing private work with county equipment. He appeared before the Board of Supervisors Monday morning and explained what he saw and heard and raised his concerns about the project.

"They took the dump trunk and took it way back off the road, and we asked them, 'why y'all doing that?' And they said, 'well they said leave the dump truck back there," Tool said. "But all the other equipment that are way more expensive than that dump truck, they leave it on the side of the road. Why they doing that? We keep asking for a cost. How much is this costing the taxpayer?"

The county engineer estimated the cost of the project to be between $45,000 and $65,000. County officials contend that no personal work is being done with county equipment at the project site.

"There ain't no personal work being done out there on this man's property," said county road manager Harris Wilder. "We were hauling this waste dirt off. You have to haul this waste dirt off and put it somewhere. We hauled it on top of that hill and dumped it. In fact, we hauled some to some land owners that need some in some spots."

District 2 supervisor Wayman Newell still stands behind the project, and that it will be an improvement to the road when completed.

"I still think it's a safety issue. Three to five years from now, when those pine trees get up, you cannot see around it," said Newell. "I think the people will be happy that we made an improvement to that road."

Work at the site is still continuing with construction crews being met by protesters.

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