The city of Rincon finds itself caught between a pothole and a hard place.
Several potholes — some very large and potentially damaging — have pockmarked East Towne Park Drive and have caused a hazard to vehicles traveling in that area.
The city says it’s currently attempting to identify the owners so the proper steps can be taken to improve the area and remove the hazards.
City Manager Michael Phillips said that there are multiple owners and that it appears one of them is trying to sell some of the property and that neither the buyer or seller wants to take responsibility for the potholes. Rincon is “trying to confirm who owns it ‘right now,’” Phillips said, “and the city will send notice that it needs to be repaired, or else the city may have to take some action against the owner.”
Phillips said city council wants citizens to understand the city is not trying to avoid fixing that road.
“We just can’t legally do it,” he said.
Phillips added that East Town Park Drive is a private road, built by the developer, and not built to acceptable city standards. Because of that, it was never deeded over to the city for maintenance and upkeep. He said that if the road were to be brought up to city specifications by the developer, it could then be deeded to the city for on-going maintenance.
Council member Scott Morgan discussed the problem at an Aug. 24 council meeting, noting he gets approached nearly every week about bad potholes on private roads in the area. Council member Levi Scott agreed, saying that some are on very high volume roads and cited the areas behind the Subway restaurant and beside Citizens Bank on East Town Park Drive.
City staff said that normal procedure in trying to get a property owner to address problems such as this was to send the owner a letter asking for a response within 10 days and that after sending two additional letters, the city could take the owner to court to address the problem.