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LaFollette residents face obstacles

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By Beth Braden

Residents on Mullis Trail are concerned after unfinished city work has forced them to park on the street.

“None of the six property owners that has access to this road has ever asked them to do anything to it,” said Doris Lumpkins, a Mullis Trail resident.

Drainage has always been a problem, according to property owners, and they say the city of LaFollette decided to pave the road and put curbs down either side to force water down the road.

With no allowances left for driveway access, cars are parked along the street until work can be continued.

According to LaFollette Mayor Mike Stanfield, street supervisor Jim Mullins was pulled off the project by city administrator Cade Sexton last week after the curbs were poured.

“He said he got pulled off that down there and just as soon as he’s done, he’s gonna go back down there and pour them driveways,” Stanfield said.

A call to LaFollette’s street department revealed that Mullins was off work as of Oct. 30 due to a hip replacement.

“You can’t blame them for being mad,” Stanfield said about the residents.

 The issue came up at the LaFollette City Council workshop on Tuesday night.

“We just did a lot of work down there it looks nice,” said city administrator Cade Sexton.

“My understanding is people can’t get into their driveways,” said council member Joe Bolinger.

Sexton told the council that work would resume as soon as it quit raining.

“They should have went in and put gravel in at least so you can get to your driveways,” said Brian Bostic, another Mullis Trail resident.

Resident Daniel Byrd says he understands the city is supposed to pour another layer or two of concrete and then cut entrances to driveways. He isn’t sure why allowances for driveways weren’t automatically left during the curb building process.

“They’re gonna have to backfill and its gonna cause the soil to backflow toward the houses not and I think it will cause issues,” Bostic said.

Mullis Trail was previously a dead end street, but the finished project will result in the road ending at an apartment complex. Neighbors believe the only reason their road was worked on was to benefit the developer of the complex.

“They spent $40,000 of taxpayers money to dead end in a parking lot,” said Lumpkins.

“I feel like our tax dollars could have been spent for something more profitable.”

The city administrator and street department workers could not be reached for further comment.