The Cumberland County Board of Education voted to conduct land surveys in the Eureka Dr. area to determine if there are 36 feet available for a road easement. The road easement is necessary in order to provide access to a possible location for a new elementary school.

Earl Patton, BOE attorney, said, "The problem we're running into is the road commission indicates we have a 36-foot wide easement on Eureka Dr. The road is currently 12 feet wide. The land owners along Eureka Dr. have raised issue on whether or not there is a 36-foot easement."

With a 36-foot easement, the road could be widened to two 12-foot lanes of traffic with room for shoulders. Kim Chamberlin, architect with Upland Design Group, has told the BOE in the past he would not consider Eureka Dr. a permanent solution to access for the school, but that it would be sufficient until the Northwest Connector, a road project planned from Hwy. 127 N. to Hwy. 70 N. and on to Hwy. 70 W., is completed.

"[Eureka Dr.] is not a platted subdivision," Patton explained. "There is nothing in the record that shows how wide that easement is other than the county's adoption of that road."

Patton said no deeds made mention of a road easement.

Patton suggested a survey of every lot. There are 18 to 20 lots, and total survey costs would be $5,000 to $7,000. Funds are available in the capital outlay budget.

"I don't know if the board wants to do that or rely on the road commission," Patton said.

Director of Schools Patricia Ragsdale said she would be more comfortable with taking land surveys.

Chamberlin said, "I wouldn't feel comfortable going without the surveys to know you've got that space to get back into the property."

With the Eureka Dr. access, there would still need to be a 1,400 feet access road to the landlocked property.

Dan Schlafer, 9th District representative, moved to approve conducting land surveys, and was supported by Rob Safdie, 2nd District representative.

Mary Smith, 7th District representative, asked if the board was certain this was the location where the new school would be. Allen Foster, chairman and 4th District representative, said the board was still investigating the possibility, but determining adequate access was the first step.

Chamberlin said, "We don't see anything at this point that raises any flags with the property. Once we see if we have access, we'll be able to go in and get surveys. This is probably step one. If we don't have access, we probably don't need to go further."

Construction of the access road, along with construction of water and sewer lines, would probably be part of negotiations with the land owner as those items would be beneficial to the property owner in future development plans of the area.

The motion was approved 8-0.

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