Overton County Commission approved the closure of some 160 feet at the end of the county’s Virgil Murphy Lane.
The process had been several years in the making. County Attorney Lillie Sells said the approval comes recommended by the planning commission, the road superintendent, and herself.
“It’s been a very troublesome spot and the Davies came in here and bought that property and are trying to start a business there, a bed and breakfast,” Sells said. “And they’re tax payers here in Overton County and they bought that property for a lot of money.”
County Executive Steven Barlow said the road has been used as a throughway for visitors to Waterloo Falls. He said when the property owners bought the property it had originally been a spot that had issues with drug use and other negative aspects.
Barlow said to his understanding, the property owners will continue to allow public access during certain times with a fee for parking. He said they also are working to turn it into a more official recreational area, with things like concessions and restroom access.
“There’s nothing that we can do about it. Our county advised us there was nothing we can do, the road superintendent hired his own attorney and said there was nothing we could do, so following their advice, that is the reason the county had to vote yes (…)The reason they’re charging a little $5 fee to get in there is to sign off on the insurance waiver,” Barlow said. “So the insurance waiver protected them if you went down and got hurt on their property. So it’s understandable.”
The commission passed the resolution with a majority vote. Five commissioners voted no: Shane Walker, Philip Talley, Geraldine Walker, Jesse Bowman, and Donna Savage.