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Fry Street remains under discussion by the commissioners; new glitch surfaces over maintenance of county line road

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Greene County Commissioners (from left) Rick Graves, Nathan Abrams, and Ed Michael look over a map of the Fry St. area during Tuesday's meeting.
(By Nick Schneider) [Order this photo]
Residents of North Fry St. in Jasonville repeated their pleas to the Greene County Commissioners on Tuesday for help in curbing the number of dangerous, heavy vehicles using their street at a high rate of speed.

Residents have asked the commissioners for assistance several times before -- dating back more than a year -- but Tuesday a new glitch surfaced.

Part of the road in question, in the opinion of residents and Commissioner Rick Graves, lies in Clay County.

The residents would like the north-south road to be vacated -- forcing the big trucks to use an alternate route away from their neighborhood.

Fry St. runs from State Road 48 to the Greene-Clay county line.

On the north side of the road -- in Clay County -- are three commercial businesses that utilize heavy trucks.

The businesses include: Scott Crowe Equipment, Castle's Salvage Yard, and a private farmer.

Graves said during the farming season there is a large volume of semi truck traffic on the roadway.

Resident Judy Lecocq told the commissioners that a land survey shows that part of the county road (Fry St.) on the west side of Jasonville lies on property owned by Larry Stevenson.

She suggested if the county would give Stevenson his property back, that would close the road to public traffic and solve the problem.

However, Graves says that's not a viable solution because Fry St. dead ends into the driveway of the private businesses. They would not have access to their properties until Clay County officials would agree to build an access road, Graves pointed out.

Commissioner's attorney Marilyn Hartman noted that to vacate a county road, a petition would have be drafted and presented to the commissioners.

"Public roads become public by use and that road has been used as a county road and recognized as a county road for 10 years, it's a county road," Hartman said.

Graves said over the years the road "has widened out" and encroached on Stevenson's yard.

Graves admits the road does need work and the commissioners plan on making some repairs in the spring.

"It's one road that we are going to rebuild this spring or this summer," he commented.

Part of the road is located within the city of Jasonville and its city council has been advised of the concerns and council officials have agreed to work with the county in repairing the road.

"Fry St. is a north-south road and when it gets to the county line it just stops," Graves said. "The commercial properties that use Fry St., it dead ends right into their driveway. All of the semi truck traffic drives the full length of Fry St. from State Road 48 up to the county line to these businesses in Clay County.

"We've had discussions about closing the road. I've expressed my opinion in that I don't think we should close roads just to be closing roads. We can't make the road much wider or much safer. We can put a new surface on it and try to help it there and do some work on the ditches and culverts. We now have come up with a new glitch in all of this."

Graves said he knows those who live in the residential neighborhood are disgusted about the situation.

"It's a tough situation. I feel for the people who live on that road. They (the grain farmer) don't haul everyday, but during farming season there is a lot of traffic. When they (Crowe Equipment) do haul bricks in an out -- it's not an everyday thing or an every week thing -- but during the season they do that there is a lot of truck traffic in and out for periods of time. I am sure it is aggravating to the people," Graves said.

Graves also said during the course of looking into the Fry St. problem, it was discovered that the county line east-west road, which is Clay County Road 139S, has been taken care of by Greene County for years.

"We've been taking care of it for as long as any of the highway guys can remember," Graves stated.

The Greene County Commissioner plans to attend the next meeting of the Clay County Commissioners in Brazil and seek their help in solving the road maintenance discrepancy on the county line roadway.

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