Road Closure Ordinance May Include Fee

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Pickens County continued to craft a road closure ordinance this week, discussing the matter at Wednesday’s July board of commissioners’ workshop. The issue came up several months ago when the county received complaints from residents living in the South Main Street-Refuge Road area who were unable to leave or enter their streets due to event road closures. Commission Chair Robert Jones said years ago road closures in this area only occurred once a year, but said now events cause closures six or seven times a year.

Since this time, though, the commissioners have been working on a solution to the problem in the form of an ordinance. Present at the workshop, Public Communication Director Norman Pope said he had some concerns about a proposal from the sheriff’s office for a closure ordinance.

“One concern I have,”

he said,

“is that there’s no fee involved.”

Pope suggested that since the ordinance would involve work on the part of the planning and development department, the county should consider charging a small fee for the permit.

Jones said Sheriff Donnie Craig also mentioned that a fee should be involved. Jones said the reasons for this are 1) The sheriff lacks staff to spare deputies to direct traffic for three hours for an event 2) The sheriff’s office is working to maintain its budget and cut expenditures where possible. Conceivably, fees would compensate or reimburse the sheriff’s office for using staff to control traffic for road closure events. Sheriff Craig was not at the workshop.

The amount of a possible fee was not discussed during the workshop.

Pope recommended the commissioners and sheriff staff have a meeting to further discuss the ordinance prior to final approval. As such, no specific timeline was set for approval of the ordinance.

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