Dalton trying to acquire street leading into Home Depot and Walmart

Charles Oliver/Daily Citizen-News

City of Dalton officials are looking at acquiring the private road that leads into the Home Depot and Walmart off Shugart Road so that it can be better maintained.

Dalton Mayor David Pennington said it's more than a little frustrating when people call to complain about the condition of the street that leads into Shugart Commons, the complex that houses Home Depot and Walmart off Shugart Road.

"We looked into it, and that is not a city street," Pennington said. "It was built to our standards, and the developer apparently intended to deed it to the city. But for some reason that didn't happen."

The shopping complex and the street were built in the mid-1990s.

City Administrator Andrew Parker recently told members of the city's Finance Committee that he and City Attorney Terry Miller are still working on that project. The Finance Committee is comprised of the members of the City Council.

"That hasn't fallen off our radar, but it has been less of a priority than some of the other more pressing projects we have been working on," Parker said. "We still are working to get the right-of-way accepted and maintained by the city."

Because the street was never deeded to the city, owners of the adjacent properties have easements on the street but none have responsibility for it and it hasn't been well maintained. While the city performed a temporary patch of the potholes, both Pennington and Parker said the city can't resurface the road without obtaining the title to it.

Dalton resident Jack Burnham was getting gasoline at the Murphy USA service station Monday. He said he appreciates the city patching up the potholes.

"There was one right on the middle as you pull out (of the service station) that would bottom your car out," he said. "I'm surprised that nobody tore up their car here, that I know of."

Pennington said the street's poor condition affects residents of the Greater Dalton area who shop at the Walmart and the Home Depot. He said it might also leave a poor impression of the city with people who get off I-75 at the Rocky Face interchange to buy fuel at the Murphy USA service station or pick up something at Walmart.

Parker said all of the property owners adjoining the street will have to sign a quit-claim giving the city the title to the street. He said Miller is identifying who those property owners are and trying to negotiate with them to obtain those quit-claims.

The road includes a bridge over McClellan Creek. Parker said the city has had a bridge inspector look at it and it appears to be in good shape.

Pennington said he is going to ask staff to see if they can move the project up higher on their list of priorities.

"We are going to have to do something soon because that patching we put in is starting to fail," he said.

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