Representative Mae Matheson presents the case for Doe Valley Elementary road repairs on behalf of taxpayers in the area during the Thursday, April 8 Johnson County School Board meeting. Screen capture.
By Meg Dickens
Concerned taxpayers from the Doe Valley community took a stand to ask for what they deem as necessary repairs. Those directly affected signed a petition of support then sent Mae Matheson as a representative to plead their case to the Johnson County School Board. She reports that Board Member Gary Matheson suggested approaching the Board. The main issue revolves around both danger and inconvenience stemming from damaged roads at Doe Valley Elementary.
“I do have names of people who have signed,” Mae explained. “It’s mothers, fathers, grandparents, and guardians over the kids that pick the kids up.”
The edges of the road are breaking up, and May reports that there is not enough room for buses exiting and guardians coming for pick-up. Parents and guardians coming to pick up children are forced to go off the pavement into the grass and mud, which causes literal mud slinging at cars behind in the cue. Cars reportedly spin out and are in danger of “going off of the hill,” which is a safety risk.
“It is an issue,” said Chairman Howard Carlton. “It’s been needed probably ever since they built the place.”
Widening the road would correct the problem. This is not the first time this issue has been discussed. The same issue came up several years ago when the group We the People presented the same project, but no action was taken because the neighboring landowner was unwilling to let anything be done with the land, according to Carlton. Officials suggested looking at the other side of the road, which is owned by someone else, but that side of the road contains the main waterline.
According to Board Member Matheson, County Road Superintendent Jeff Wagner says “it’s not a huge problem to fix.” Dirt from the left-hand side would need to be pulled down and packed well then repaved. Then it would need a new ditch line and to re-ditch an area closer to the road, which is reportedly “tearing up the asphalt” by overflowing. The project could start as soon as school lets out for the school year.
Officials agreed to move forward looking for a solution. According to Carlton, they hope to install a loop to help with traffic flow. At the moment, officials are looking into using ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funds to pay for repairs.
Find out more about Johnson County Schools at jocoed.net. To see the Johnson County School Board meetings live or by the archive, visit the Johnson County Schools TN Video YouTube channel.