The Times West Virginian

Local News

June 19, 2014

Pickens Lane residents seek answers about road

FAIRMONT — Residents on Pickens Lane are looking for answers about fixing the road that leads to their houses.

During Wednesday’s Marion County Commission meeting, John Carpenter, a resident on Pickens Lane, along with others asked the commission for help. Carpenter said Pickens Lane, which is off Graham Heights Road in Fairmont, is barely driveable and needs fixed.

“There are a lot of houses on that road, and nobody knows who owns that road,” he said. “We’re trying to see what we can do to get it fixed.”

Carpenter said he was told by the West Virginia Division of Highways that Pickens Lane is a county road. Marion County does not own any roads in the county and hasn’t since the 1940s, when it turned its roads over to the state.

Along with Carpenter, the residents of Pickens Lane have been maintaining the road out of their own pockets because no one has ever come to fix it.

Charlie Reese, director of the Marion County Development Office, said a few years ago the state stopped taking over orphan roads. Reese said for the state to be able to do anything with the road, they would have to find out who owns it and then the owners would have to give up the rights of way.

Carpenter said Pickens Lane has always been a road and the Marion County Courthouse has the records to show that it’s a road.

Commissioners told Carpenter and the other residents that they will do everything they can to help them. Marion County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Chuck Shields said he would look into the records to see if it was a county road before the roads were given to the state.

In other business:

• Commissioners donated $500 to Ms. West Virginia Kristin Wilson to sponsor her at the Ms. United States Pageant in Washington, D.C., July 1-6. Wilson is a Mannington native and lives in Fairmont.

• The commission will be holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the grand opening of Palatine Park with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin at 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 25.

• The commission meeting for Wednesday, June 25, was canceled.

Email Emily Gallagher at egallagher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.

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