Stranded residents: Washed out road will take $150K to fix - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Stranded residents: Washed out road will take $150K to fix

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IRON STATION, NC (WBTV) -

Multiple families in Lincoln County, left stranded when floods washed away the only road into their neighborhood two weeks ago, have found out how much money it will take to get the road fixed.

WBTV has learned that Rural and Urban Development came out to Iron Station on Wednesday and told families they would need a $150,000 loan to fix the road.

A portion of Amity Lane was washed away during a severe storm at the end of June, leaving a 20-foot gap in the road.

A temporary bridge was installed to allow families to move vehicles out of the neighborhood, but the forestry service had to removed the bridge after a couple of days. Project leaders tell WBTV the bridge was not designed for long term use.

Without the temporary bridge, 20 families are now completely stranded.

"I'm just mostly concerned about the people back here who can't get in and out. We got a lot of sick people back here and that is mostly what I'm worried about," David Bowles told WBTV.

Bowles is not alone in his worries. His neighbor, Doris Lowman, worries that she will not be able to get help from first responders in the event of an emergency.

"If we have an emergency, how are they going to get in to get us? They already told us, if our house catches on fire, it'll have to burn down. There is no way they can get in here," Lowman said.

The problem for residents along Amity Lane is that they live a mile off of the state's right of way and the state won't leave the right of way to work on other road. Also, the road was built on private property, therefore has to be self-maintained.

Bill Summers with Lincoln County Emergency Management says in order for the road to be maintained by the state - the developer had to have built the road to state standards, which it wasn't.

So in essence, everyone that lives along the road is responsible for each piece of road that touches their property.

That's because a neighborhood covenant clearly spells out ownership and responsibility for maintaining Amity Lane.

WBTV obtained the deed records, which say "obligation for the repair and maintenance" is the "sole responsibility of the owners." When it comes to deciding about repairs and maintenance, it's majority rule.

And that's where the issue of the $150,000 loan comes to get the road fixed.

WBTV has learned that residents along Amity Lane will have to set up a homeowners association, get 75% approval from property owners and then hire an attorney before they can apply for the loan.

Residents were slated to meet on Friday night at one of the homes to discuss their next move, but that meeting was postponed on Friday afternoon.

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