Hart Street washout cause for concern

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 28, 2004

MURFREESBORO – Murfreesboro citizen Marvin Hodge is curious over whether Hart Street, the only access point to a property currently under contract for sale to him, will be accessible for himself and future patrons of his joint business venture (M & J Enterprises) or if he will have to back out of the sale.

The street, which is located off Main Street across from McDonald’s in Murfreesboro, was washed out making the road unsafe for passage.

According to Hodge, when the property (1030 Hart Street, otherwise known as the Royster-Clark property), was listed as well as through the negotiation process, it was accessible via Hart Street, however it has since been closed as a result of the washout causing him concern.

&uot;Hart Street is the only current overland access to the Royster-Clark property as well as property owned by the Murfreesboro Historical Association on the east side of Hart,&uot; said Hodge who further stated that both he and the Historical Association had development plans for the properties that would not be possible without such access.

Public Works Director Gene Byrd briefly addressed the issue in the previous council meeting stating that it would likely be an expensive feat for the town to tackle since the cross line separated and collapsed completely leaving a 10-15 foot hole under the roadway.

Previously, he explained that the pipe was too big and the ravine too deep for the town to dig up itself, but stated that even if the pipe was not replaced, it needed to be addressed.

At that meeting, he also stated that in light of current project expenditures he thought it might be better to direct the town’s funds to other areas.

&uot;We are currently working on obtaining cost estimates to excavate and replace the pipe versus relining and repairing it,&uot; said Byrd, &uot;but it will be extremely expensive.&uot;

In the interim, Hodge stated that if the expected timing of the repair was not within the next 30 days he would like the town to provide safe temporary personal vehicle access within the next 14 days so that he could complete the first phase of an environmental investigation.

He also requested if the town chose to provide such temporary access that it would maintain the area until permanent repair was affected. &uot;For the property to have value, I must be assured that I will have reasonable and reliable access by truck within the immediate future,&uot; he said.

Hodge also brought the probability of the washout getting worse and jeopardizing gravesites in the nearby cemetery to the attention of the council stating that the property he was considering for purchase currently provides the town with over $2,400 in tax revenue.

&uot;The cost of inaction or delayed action appears to be great both in potential lost tax revenue, delayed Murfreesboro development and increased risk of additional loss to real property associated with the cemetery,&uot; said Hodge.

&uot;I don’t think it’s an option not to do something.&uot;

Murfreesboro Mayor Ben McLean agreed to inform Hodge as soon as possible about the repairs to Hart Street and stated that he would work with Byrd and the Public Works Department in finding out what he could.

Hodge stated that he was looking to close the contract by November.