Rutherford homeowner upset as county crews pave private driveway - WSMV News 4

Rutherford homeowner upset as county crews pave private driveways

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Some homeowners in Rutherford County are getting part of their driveways' shoulders paved for free, while others are not. County road officials said it's all a matter of safety, but at least one homeowner feels he's being treated unfairly.

Every time Andy Pope sees a Rutherford County Highway Department asphalt truck passing through his neighborhood, he's a little disappointed.

"I'm hoping they are coming down to do my driveway," Pope said. "I want the same thing they got up there, is all I'm asking."

He's talking about three driveways in the 4000 block of Morton Road near Smyrna that were partially paved by the county workers, using taxpayers' money.

He said he went directly to the top and contacted Highway Department Superintendent Gregg Brooks.

"I said, 'Sir, I would like to have my driveway like the driveways on Morton Road.' He stood there for a few minutes, and said, 'It ain't going to happen.'"

The Vietnam veteran said he paid $7,000 15 years ago to personally pave his 450-foot driveway on Rocky Fork-Almaville Road and doesn't feel it's fair for others to get part of theirs done for free.

"I would like to be treated like the other people," Pope said.

Brooks said he felt obligated to make improvements to the rural two-lane road with no shoulder because of the increased traffic from the newly opened Stewarts Creek High School.

"It was all about safety," Brooks said.

Brooks said the road was in such disrepair, workers had to raise it two feet, which left two homeowners with no way to get out of their driveways without tires spinning on gravel.

"You have to understand, the driveways weren't paved in their entirety," Brooks said. "They were paved back far enough so a vehicle would have its tires on hard surface before it entered the road. You never know when it's your child that's going to be coming down that road."

Brooks said he didn't give the homeowners any special treatment. As a matter of fact, he said he doesn't even know them. He said when a driveway is partially paved it's done on a case-by-case basis.

Brooks said he understands he's using taxpayers' money, but he's a taxpayer, too.

"I took an oath of office to make sure the taxpayers' money is being spent efficiently and effectively," Brooks said. "That's all we were doing when we paved those driveways on Morton Road."

Even though workers resurfaced a small apron on Pope's driveway twice, he's still not satisfied, especially after seeing the driveways partially paved along Morton Road.

"That's all I'm asking, is for the same thing they got," Pope said.

Brooks said he doesn't plan on doing any additional work on Pope's driveway since Rocky Fork-Almaville Road wasn't raised any higher when it was repaved.

Once the asphalt on the three driveways on Morton Road starts to crumble, the road superintendent said it will be the home owner's responsibility, not the county, to make repairs or to repave.

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