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County land dispute spills into courts

“I am back for the same reason I have been coming for since 2017.”

Those were the words of Jeff Landrum addressing the County Commission at Monday’s meeting. The issue at hand is a hunting club putting up locked gates on County Road 968. Now another gate has been put up on County Road 878. With the gates up, Landrum says he is unable to access his property off County Road 5 in the Cragford area.

Landrum had to file a case in circuit court to access his property, and the court ruled the roads in question were county roads. After the judge ruled, the gate on 968 had to be taken down. Landrum went on to say the county engineer at that time looked at the road and county maps and determined the road is a public road that had been maintained by the county. Landrum carried the case to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. The higher court upheld the lower court’s decision.

Now, he said, the county attorney has filed an appeal to the appeal court’s decision.

“I can’t tell you why the commission is taking the stance they are and wasting the county’s money to fight me on this. Somebody gave the go ahead to the county attorney, and I want to know who and why,” Landrum said.

Landrum went on to say that one hunting club member told him directly that he should just sell his property because he would spend a half million dollars to keep the road closed.

“I feel like he knew how to put his money in the right places.”

Commissioners agreed to look at the roads and decide what should be done.

In other business, the commission:

Approved an agreement with Lee County Youth Development Center to house the county’s juvenile prisoners.

Tabled a decision on an application for an alcohol license at The Range.

Approved a budget amendment providing for payment of the coroner’s salary.

Approved a list of surplus vehicles from the road department.

Announced the courthouse and annexes will be closed Monday, June 19 for Juneteenth and Tuesday, July 4 for Independence Day.

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