Still that leaves nine or 10 who still have fences or other property on the right of way, said Shannon Robbins, county engineer. The encroachments need to be moved before the county can start work on widening and repaving a 4-mile stretch of the road, Robbins said.
“It’s deeded as county right of way for everybody and that’s the rule for the money coming to us,” Robbins said.
The Alabama Department of Transportation will pay about $750,000 toward the work, but it won’t release the money until all the encroachments onto the right of way have been removed, he said.
Two or three of the owners have said they would remove their property from the right of way, but haven’t done it for one reason or another, Robbins told the commissioners.
Another property owner along the road asked the county to remove some old fencing from the county right of way, Robbins said. County staff will be doing that this week, he said.
Robbins said after the meeting he would be working with Probate Judge Ryan Robertson, who serves as chairman of the commission, at the end of December to determine how many properties still have encroachments that need to be removed. The county will set a drop-dead date for the county to step in and remove the private property at that time, Robbins said.
The county can remove the encroachments on the right of way and attach a lien on the private property to pay for the work, attorney Doug Ghee told the commissioners at their September meeting.
“If somebody has 100 plus acres, to me I look at land as wealth, they have it,” Robertson said Monday.
Commissioner Benji Langley said much of the fencing from the poles to the wire can be recycled in the new fence as the old fence is removed.
“It’s just your labor,” Langley said.
In other business the commissioners:
— Heard from County Compliance Officer Josh Horn that the county will be having a cleanup weekend this coming Saturday and Sunday.
— Asked for more information about a proposal to transfer the Abernathy Fire Department building to the Abernathy Volunteer Fire Department. Commissioner Emmett Owen wanted to know how much property was included with the building, an old school.
Staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.