The Memphis, Tenn., based company agreed to open up Fire Tower Road, McNichols Road and McCoy Hollow Road, while Donnie Lane and Skinner Road will still be closed to the public, and while the company agreed to fill in the ditches, it didn’t admit to digging them, said Trigg County Judge C.A. “Woody” Woodall.
At the hearing, Trigg County Attorney H.B. Quinn said that he understood that recent rain storms would make the job more difficult, he urged River Oak to fill in the ditches in about three weeks, which they agreed to do.
Linton residents such as Marvin Underwood have complained, at Trigg County Fiscal Court meetings and elsewhere, that gates put up by River Oak and others block access to their property and would make it more difficult for fire trucks and other emergency vehicles to access their property as well.
Woodall said that despite the agreement, the lawsuit is still ongoing, and when asked when the lawsuit might be resolved, Woodall said, “Nobody can say for sure.”
Representatives from River Oak recently said they will still prosecute trespassers to the fullest extent of the law. Those representing River Oaks have consistently said the gates, some of which were put up as many as two decades ago, were put up to keep out trespassers and others that would dump on lands owned by the company.
At an earlier fiscal court meeting, Linton resident Jim Carter said the company has been blatantly ignoring the county’s decision to accept several roads in the Linton area in the county road plan, and said ditches were dug across roads such as McCoy Hollow Road.
Burton Washburn III, a Paducah attorney representing River Oak, that the roads in question have been maintained by River Oak, and before that West Vaco, and have never been maintained by the county. The fiscal court has, in recent decisions, voted to bring the roads in question into the county maintenance system.
According to Washburn, the roads in question are private roads. Fire Tower Road was abandoned by the county long ago and is privately owned by River Oak, which has maintained it since gaining West Vaco ceased to own it, the attorney said,
Skinner Road and Donnie Lane are roads that West Vaco improved for logging purposes in the 1980s, Washburn said.
Humphries has said that West Vaco originally put up the gates, and that the gates that went up were, at the time, going to be temporary, and were also going to build and maintain roads in the area to better transport logs.