After months of exhaustive research, Union County Commissioners made a decision on the accessibility of federal land surrounding Hanna Creek from Bull Hill Road at its May 6 meeting.

Commissioner Tim Williams summarized the events leading up to the meetings, beginning with two property owners building a fence at the end of the maintained portion of Bull Hill Road. When a resident brought the fence to the attention of the commissioners, they sent a letter to the property owners requesting removal of the fence. Union County area planning executive director Jeff Mathews was contacted by one of the property owners reporting they were told by a former county highway supervisor the county gave up the unmaintained portion of the road. 

Mathews investigated the issue, eventually finding a resolution from 1991 abandoning all roads surrounding the lake below a certain elevation. Bull Hill Road is above that elevation and determined to have not been abandoned by the county.

“So now, we've proven it's ours, beyond a shadow of a doubt,” reported Williams.

Commissioner Howard Curry noted both he and commissioner Barry Edwards had inspected the road and determined the need for something to stop vehicular traffic, but allow pedestrians to access the federal property at the end of the road.

One of the two property owners who had erected the fence noted the county easement is on both sideS of the fence and asked about the potential to just move the easement to one side of the fence.

“No there's not, and I'll explain why. It's not the situation where that fence would be a problem, but it would set a precedence for the rest of the county,” replied Curry.

Williams made a motion to send another letter requesting the fence be removed and to senD the county highway department to install a traffic barricade. Edwards seconded and the board  voted to approve. 

Also discussed:
-Curry asked Union County Highway Department supervisor Jeff Bowers about the status of Dave O'Mara Contractor, Inc., and the ongoing paving projects. Bowers replied they've recently reviewed the remaining roads but have been struggling to work around the weather. 

Potential roadwork on Old S.R. 101/S Fairfield Ramp Road was discussed, Curry had spotted the largest pile of sand in Union County at the Fairfield Boat Ramp and heard warnings of lane closures. Bowers replied the road begins in Union County before passing through Franklin County and back into Union County on federal property leased by the state; he had not heard of any work.