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Lewisport Council members question new driveway

Lewisport Council members Mary Hawkins and Mary Rummage brought up the issue of a new driveway constructed at the John Cason and Christie Critcheloe residence at 110 4th Street in Lewisport. Hawkins and Rummage think the driveway encroaches several feet onto city property at the entrance to the old boat ramp at Millennium Park, and could potentially prevent emergency vehicles from making use of the ramp.

“I can’t believe they did that without asking permission,” Hawkins said.
Rummage said if a fire broke out in that area and the fire hydrants did not work, the fire department needed access to the river to pump water to extinguish the fire.
“You never know when something drastic may happen,” Rummage said. “It is an alternative solution.”

Lewisport mayor Chad Gregory asked Hawkins and Rummage if a survey confirmed the drive actually encompassed part of the city’s property. They said no.
Critcheloe, for his part, said he did not get a survey before constructing the driveway as he thought he owned the ground where the contractor placed the driveway.
“No one has told me definitively that it is (on city property,” Critcheloe said. “What they have told me for sure is it is blocking access to the old boat ramp.”

Critcheloe said the old ramp is too narrow to bring a boat down anyway, and is definitely too narrow to bring down a fire truck. Critcheloe said in an emergency situation he would not prevent emergency personnel from crossing his drive to access the old ramp.

Critcheloe said he did talk City Administrator Brent Wigginton when Wigginton approached him about the drive possibly encroaching on city property. At that point, the contractor had already poured the concrete. Critcheloe said he talked with Wigginton and Supervisor of Utilities Jason Roberts, and they told him if he created an entrance to the side of his drive wide enough to bring down a pickup truck or backhoe to access the ramp they were okay with the new drive.

Hawkins and Rummage do not think the side drive entrance is wide enough for the city’s needs and want something done about the drive. Hawkins said she thought Critcheloe needed to remove the portion of his drive that encroached onto city property.
Critcheloe said he and his wife Christie purchased the house approximately one year ago and were trying to improve the property.

By Ralph Dickerson

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