By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – A county road partly annexed by the city but still somewhat in the county faces an uncertain future as Tupelo and Lee County officials debate who will maintain it.
County supervisors said at a board meeting Friday it won’t split maintenance duties with the city. Instead, the city should simply cede the road back to the county or the county should cede the entire thing to the city.
The road in question is 1740, a roughly 1.5-mile stretch between Mount Vernon Road and McCulllough Boulevard. When Tupelo annexed several square miles from the county earlier this month, the road was split in half.
“There are some places where the road is in the city, some places where it’s in the county, and some places where it’s half in the city and half in the county,” said Tupelo GIS Coordinator Renee Newton. “It’s very confusing.”
The city annexed some 125 streets, but 1740 is the only one with such obvious problems, said City Planner Pat Falkner.
Tupelo officials, including Chief Operations Officer Darrell Smith, seek an agreement with the county to avoid a situation like the one that had occurred about two weeks ago.
The county “mowed their side and left our side uncut,” Smith said.
County Road Manager Tim Allred could not immediately be reached for comment about the mowing.
But county supervisors said they won’t split maintenance responsibilities.
“It won’t work,” said District 3 Supervisor Darrell Rankin, who formerly headed Tupelo’s Public Works Department.
The Public Works Department is responsible for road maintenance, including mowing rights of way, cleaning drainage ditches, fixing potholes and overlaying streets.
Smith told the Daily Journal city residents of Road 1740 shouldn’t worry because the city will not leave them without maintenance.
“We’re not cut out that way,” Smith said, adding that he ultimately believes the city and county will be able to reach an agreement.