Thursday, August 28, 2014

Rocky road for man whose home burned

By DYLAN LYSEN, Herald Staff Writer | 6/25/2014

To help another Franklin County resident who lost his home in a fire, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners Wednesday approved waiving a building permit fee. Commissioners also returned a portion of Georgia Road from minimum maintenance to full maintenance to help the rural man rebuild the home he lost in a March 18 fire.

Lisa Johnson explained Wednesday at the Franklin County Board of Commissioners meeting that county policy prohibits Ron Shrakes from receiving a building permit because his property is on a minimum maintenance road.

To help another Franklin County resident who lost his home in a fire, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners Wednesday approved waiving a building permit fee. Commissioners also returned a portion of Georgia Road from minimum maintenance to full maintenance to help the rural man rebuild the home he lost in a March 18 fire.

Lisa Johnson explained Wednesday at the Franklin County Board of Commissioners meeting that county policy prohibits Ron Shrakes from receiving a building permit because his property is on a minimum maintenance road.

After hearing from Shrakes and holding a public hearing, the board decided to return Georgia Road, from the intersection of Georgia and Kingman roads south 650 feet to Shrakes’ property, to a full maintenance road.

But before the board could return the road to full maintenance, someone would have to pay $660 for the process of rocking the road, Johnson said.

Shrakes is responsible for the cost because it was his request to return the road to full maintenance.

Johnson said Wednesday afternoon the cost for rocking the road might actually be less than originally estimated.

Shrakes said he has lived and paid taxes on the property since 1989 and doesn’t understand why he is responsible for the cost.

“There has been no county vehicles or equipment on that road [in] over a year, and no maintenance has been done to it. I pay my taxes and everything and I don’t understand why I should be responsible for the costs,” Shrakes said during the public hearing. “What I would like to do is get a house in there, so I can continue to live there and what I’m being told is I can no longer live on my property. I’ve got 40 acres across the road from it and I’d like to move a double-wide trailer in there so I can get back into a home, but I’m being told I can’t do that either. I can’t do anything and I don’t understand why.”

Commissioner Don Stottlemire said the board previously made the resident responsible for rocking the road because the county can’t be solely responsible for something one resident wants.

“We revised that and tried to make it as simple as we could, except for not making the county 100-percent responsible for something somebody else wants,” Stottlemire said.

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