Speed bumps and drainage were the topics of discussion as the Clarkton Town Board met in Tuesday. Robin Butler addressed the board during the public forum session to ask the board to assist residents with an issue regarding a drainage ditch that overflows in his neighborhood and to ask the board to repair speed bumps in the neighborhood.
Butler said the drainage ditch in question actually drains water from two neighborhoods and the flow was fine until Hurricane Matthew struck in October. Butler said the storm caused part of the ditch to fill in and now during a heavy rain, he has 6 to 8 inches of water in his yard. Butler said the water will run around the blockage and eventually drain off. He added the problem continues to worsen with each subsequent rain storm.
“I’m asking the town to consider cleaning the ditch and installing a culvert,” said Butler. He added he has attempted to contact NC Department of Transportation District Engineer Drew Cox regarding the matter but was told he is currently out of town.
Butler also told the board there is a second ditch located near the neighborhood which runs parallel to the train tracks. He said this ditch is completely grown over and filled in completely. Public Works Director Chris Hall said that maintenance of that particular ditch is the responsibility of CSX Railroad. Butler said when the rail company last cleaned along the tracks, the arm did not reach into the ditch in question.
In the second matter, Butler told the board that a few years ago, the town installed speed bumps in his neighborhood. The speed bumps have worn away due to the age and traffic. Butler said recently the town had been out and repaired the speed bumps. He said he noticed that a few days after the speed bumps were repaired, the town staff returned and tore the speed bumps down again.
Butler said the goal fo the residents when they initially requested the speed bumps was to slow traffic on the road. He said the speed bump was reduced to a point it doesn’t serve as a deterrent to speeding motorists. A speed limit sign reflecting a 20 mph speed has also been erected in the neighborhood.
Town Commissioner Tim Tart said low vehicles were complaining of speed bumps scraping the bottom of their vehicles. Butler said he could understand, but if the driver takes the speed bump at a reasonable speed, he argued it will not scrape the bottom of the car.
Town Commissioner Tart replied, “It costs $500 to put a speed bump out there. Everyone needs to get together and decide on the height.”
Mayor Arthur Whedbee asked the board for suggestions for town staff regarding the issues. The board requested Butler circulate a petition regarding the speed bump issue.
Public Works Director Chris Hall told the board he will contact NC DOT District Engineer Drew Cox and have them come and look at the ditch and tell them what can be done regarding the drainage issue.
“It just needs to be cleaned out,” said Butler of the ditch.
“We’ll look into it,” said Hall.
“See what you can do,” said Mayor Whedbee.