He claims unauthorized road work on his neighboring father-in-law's private property in the late 1980's paved the way for excessive flooding and destruction of his property and he feels the county should should fix the mess.
“All I want is for them to fix my driveway,” Hollifield said. “When they came in here and paved that road, the water started making huge paths through my driveway and washing the gravel into the field beside it. It's been do-ing that for years now and the problem just keeps getting worse.”
Hollifield said his father-in-law, Don Holmes, attended a county commission meeting on March, 19, 1996, to inquire why a 15-foot easement on his private property had been paved without his consent. Holmes was a truck driver and absent from his home during the time the paving had been done.
According to the recorded minutes of the meeting, Holmes claimed not only had it been done without his permission, but after the paving, stormwater began to funnel about 150 yards down the middle of a gravel road on his property. Holmes told the commissioners Charles road had been graded periodically by the county for 12-15 years, and noone had approached him about any paving needing to be done.
Jim Callaway, county manager at the time, explained that a cul-de-sac had been requested by the Catoosa County school transportation director on behalf of a special education child who lived at the end of Holmes road, which contains the easement.
Holmes was told by then-commission vice chairman Greg Bentley, “If the county had created the problem, which caused water to run off and do the damage, a correction would be made if there was any way possible.”
According to Hollifield, no school buses have ever traveled on the road because the cul-de-sac was never completed due to inclement weather at the time and even after the weather improved, the paving project was never completed. While the county did come and grade the area periodically after the paving, they eventually stopped, and Hollifield said he has had to maintain his driveway consistently for years, which has been very time-consuming and very costly.
Hollifield said some work had been done on Holmes Road to try and rectify the problem, such as a drainage ditch and some ledges added to the sides, but the damage continues to be a serious problem and the issue is far from rectified.
Mike Helton, county manager, said there was no dispute that grading had been done by the county in the area in years past under a different administration, but there is no actual record of any legal authorization for work to be done. Helton said the drive is on private property and the county cannot perform work on private property.
“They used to do all kinds of things years ago,” Helton said. “The county sprayed and mowed and worked in various areas doing several different things. But there are a lot of new ordinances that we have to abide by now.There are things that just aren’t lawful anymore and we feel the general taxpayer does not have the resources through the board of commission to take care of that road at this time.”
In an attempt to resolve the solution, commissioners first passed approval to adopt a portion of Charles Lane, which included Hollifield's driveway, but then later rescinded the vote during the Oct. 16, 2012, meeting, because the exact boundaries of the portion in question had not been made clear. When the vote was raised again, it died for lack of a second motion.
Helton said the public works department looked at the area and said in order to work on the one-tenth-of-a-mile area, it would require a 40-foot right-of-way from the owner. Hollifield disagreed with the estimation.
“I'm not giving it to them,” Hollifield said. “They don't need it. They paved my father-in-law's property without permission before. They can fix my driveway.”