County Approves Equipment Purchase, Hears Citizen’s Complaint

Merritt said a portion of the road was closed a few years ago and by doing so, the county “violated four state laws and two constitutional amendments.”
The Coffee County Commission met on Monday morning, July 15, and unanimously approved the purchase of new blades for the road department motor graders. The commission also heard a complaint from Ambrose resident Danny Merritt.
The commission unanimously approved the purchase for new motor grader blades at a cost of $18,398.51 from low bidder Yancey Equipment Company. The county received four bids in all. 
One other item of business on the agenda, a possible real estate sale, was unanimously approved to be tabled until a later date.
Near the conclusion of the meeting, Danny Merritt came before the commission and said he owns five acres of property near Broxton off of Corbitt Road and requested the county provide him with an easement. If not, he threatened legal action. 
Merritt said a portion of the road was closed a few years ago and by doing so, the county “violated four state laws and two constitutional amendments.” 
Merritt said his attorneys, Walters, Pujadas & Walker out of Ocilla sued for “inverse condemnation,” which led to Judge Mike Boggs issuing a 20-foot easement to Merritt. 
Now, Merritt said he was prepared to get a court order explaining the need for a 40-foot easement.
“I need this easement. The other property owners in the area do not want any people of color to buy the property.” 
The commission adjourned the meeting after hearing Merritt’s complaint. 
According to county officials, Merritt is trying to sell the property for three houses to be constructed. The property is located “along a goat path,” and is “landlocked,” as there is no public road access to the property. 
County officials say they only maintain a “portion” of Corbitt Road and that Merritt paid the Corbitt family $3,000 for the 20-foot easement to gain access to the property.
County officials also said Merritt wants to split the property into three parcels to sale for three houses to be constructed. 
However, the county’s new land development code and subdivision ordinance require at least a 40-foot easement and requires homes that are constructed to abut a public road. 
The Coffee County Commission will meet again on Monday, August 1, at 8:30 and 9:30 a.m.  
See the front page of the Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Douglas Enterprise

P.O. Box 750
Douglas, Georgia 31534

Phone: (912) 384-2323
Fax: (912) 383-0218