Fulton officials looking to close Lakewood-Houston Lake outlet

By Adam Armour/The Itawamba County Times

Fulton officials are considering closing a small portion of road that law enforcement agents claim is being used to run narcotics.

According to Deputy Terry Johnson with the Itawamba County Sheriff’s Department, the city plans to close the small strip of roadway where Lakewood exits onto Houston Lake Road in the northeast end of Fulton. Johnson said this small outlet has brought an influx of traffic into the Houston Lake area.

“We’re having excess traffic around Houston Lake Road that’s coming out of Lakewood,” Johnson said, adding that much of this traffic involves people moving into and out of Lakewood to purchase narcotics. “I’ve stopped five vehicles in that area recently, and three out of the five had drugs in them.”

Johnson said people are using Houston Lake Road as an outlet from Lakewood that avoids entering the Fulton city limits. He added that people living on Houston Lake Road have complained about the high volume of traffic, much of which is speeding through the area.

“They’ve got so many ways out of Lakewood. That’s the problem,” Johnson said. “They say they’re coming back out that way to avoid the speedbumps [on Lakewood], but that’s not it. It’s because they have two or three different ways out.”

Because there are so many exits from the Lakewood area, it makes patrolling the area difficult. Johnson said closing the outlet, effectively shutting down two additional exits from the Lakewood area, will be a tremendous help.

In order to block the outlet, residents on Houston Lake Road will have to sign a petition stating that they want the road closed. Johnson said all the necessary signatures have already been obtained.

The Fulton city board is expected to take action on the proposal at the next scheduled meeting.

City officials will likely block the outlet within the next couple of weeks. Johnson noted that only the outlet from Lakewood onto Houston Lake Road will be blocked so residents of both areas will still have several exits.

The deputy said that closing the outlet will greatly add to the safety of the area and help law enforcement agents better perform their duties.

“It will cut down on the problem tremendously,” Johnson said.

adam.armour@journalinc.com