ELIZABETHTOWN —The mystery of Chesnut Lane remains, but town lawmakers have at least put it back into the correct status.
The Elizabethtown Town Council dealt with the issue of Chestnut Lane during its regular meeting this week.
“It was part of the town maintenance system when the subdivision was brought into the town limits,” said Town Manager Eddie Madden. “For whatever reason 10 years ago, the planning department changed the status of Chestnut Lane to private. We don’t know why.”
Madden said town staff have researched the issue and can find no request from the property owners or N.C. Department of Transportation to change the status. He added that the minutes books show no council approval for the change, either. He said the sign went from green, indicating a public road, to blue, indicating a private road.
“The town has been receiving Powell Bill funds for paving the street even though it was private. It is shown on the Powell Bill maps as a public street,” said Madden.
He said about six months ago the residents along Chestnut Street asked the town to add it back to the maintenance list. Madden said he requested that the street be brought up to adequate standards and the residents did so for about $3,600.
Madden said after further research it was learned that the town should have been maintaining the street all along. He added that in talking with property owners, it was learned that they were notified individually of the change in status of the street.
“So in correcting the matter, we are changing the sign back to green and we are reimbursing out of the Powell Bill funds the homeowners cost for the past six months for repairs done at our request so it could be added to our maintenance system going forward,” said Madden. “I’ve never encountered this before.”
Madden said there is a formal process that must be followed to remove a road from the maintenance system or to add a road to the maintenance system. Going forward, the road will be maintained “as it should have been.”