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Commission helps Edge avoid write-ups
Auditors disapprove of gates, upkeep of cemetery roads
Kenny Edge w sm
Road Supervisor Kenny Edge and the county commission have taken steps to prevent the highway department from being written up by state auditors for maintaining roads to private cemeteries and allowing some property owners to gate county roads by state auditors.The recent state audit contained findings on both issues.It is apparently not against the rules for the road supervisor to maintain roads to cemeteries and allow gates across county roads, but authorization should be granted by the county commission to insure a correct audit finding in the future.Edge told the assembly that his office has maintained roads to cemeteries and allowed county roads that end in private property to be gated since before his time in office, and the only way to prevent his office from getting a write-up from the state is for the commissioners to authorize him specifically to do so.The commission voted unanimously to approve the actions.In their 2011 findings on DeKalb County, state auditors recommended that “The Highway Department should not maintain private roads to cemeteries unless authorized by the county commission or a private act approved by the state legislature.”Auditors went on to say that, “The road supervisor should ensure the removal of any obstruction from the county's roads unless the DeKalb County Commission approves the gate across a third-or-fourth class county road as provided by Section 54-10-108,TCA. The road supervisor should determine if maintaining roads on gated property prejudices the rights of other taxpayers by denying them access to assets constructed with public funds.”Edge said that even though the practices have been in place since well before he was elected to the office, the proper procedure should be followed to prevent the yearly write-ups.“State law that says that I am not supposed to work anything but official county roads,” Edge told the commission. “They (auditors) have been writing me up for the last two years and complaining about me working roads going to cemeteries and working any county road that had a gate across it.“I told them that it has always been done,” he said. “They said show me where the county commission has approved it to be done.