By Gary Nelson
After spending more than 30 minutes discussing a land-locked piece of property in the county and the road leading to the property, Cumberland County attorney Randal Boston asked county commissioners, "Boys, can we get the Internet in here?"
The discussion occurred during the monthly county commission meeting Monday evening.
Boston told commissioners if the county had a wi-fi connection in the large courtroom, he could have easily gotten on the Internet with his iPad, gone to Google maps and brought up a picture of the road they had discussed, allowing everyone to see the road and the problem they were referring to.
"Just a simple wi-fi connection would be good ... the city (of Crossville) does good with theirs. Fentress County has it in their courthouse," Boston said.
He said it would make things easier for them during reports to the county commission.
Jeff Brown, 8th District county commissioner, raised his hand and said he recently had a conversation with a local Internet service provider regarding the matter.
"He told me they could provide it on all three floors of the courthouse at no charge to the county if we let him put up a sign saying they provide it," Brown said.
Johnny Presley, 3rd District commissioner, said he would make a motion to allow it. Dave Hassler, 3rd District commissioner, said he would support the motion.
Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr. said there may be some security concerns or issues to consider.
"What concerns? It's just offering a wireless connection. It doesn't have to involve the computer systems," Brown said.
Sonya Rimmer, 8th District commissioner, said she thought it should go through the building and grounds committee first, be discussed there, then come back to the county commission.
Rimmer said she would add the issue to the agenda for next week's building and grounds committee meeting. County commissioners agreed to refer the subject to the building and grounds committee.
The subject came up after county resident Paul Perry addressed county commissioners during the public comment period.
Perry told commissioners his property off Willard Brown Rd. is land-locked, without any public road access. Perry bought the property from another resident (neighbor) on the road and then subdivided the property into three parcels for two other family members.
According to his attorney, the road stops 15 to 16 feet short of the property and he has to use the previous owner's property, a neighbor's driveway, to gain access.
The property owner claims she does not own the roadway and her attorney claims the county owns the road; however, the road department records and county road list indicate the roadway stops 15 to 16 feet short of Perry's property.
"There's not anything the county can do. We don't own that road out that far," 7th District commissioner Mike Harvel said.
Several commissioners suggested he discuss the matter with the surveyor who surveyed the property and his attorney.
After more than 30 minutes of discussion, Perry asked Boston, "So, what am I supposed to do? File suit against the county?"
Boston replied that he is paid by the county to advise the county commission and he could not give him any legal advice on what to do.
Boston shortly afterward told county commissioners if there was Internet access via wi-fi in the courthouse he could have brought up the map and showed them the exact location they were discussing.
The building and grounds committee will discuss the possibility of having wireless Internet provided in the courthouse at its next meeting Oct. 29, at 4:30 p.m. in the small courtroom. The public is welcome to attend.