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People seek reimbursement from Geneva Co. Commission for car damage

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 8:02 PM CDT
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GENEVA, Ala. (WTVY) - In early June, Paula Rounds was driving on North Geneva County Road 49. She hit a pothole and the impact damaged her rim, she had to buy a new one. Now, she’s asking commissioners to pick up the tab.

“We wanted to be reimbursed for what we were out. We tried to go the cheapest route. That’s all we wanted,” Rounds said.

The debate centers around a suspected pothole and paving preparations along North Geneva County Road 49.

$189 dollars later, and Rounds’ claim to the county insurance company was denied.

“Whether our insurance company says that was an illegitimate claim, I don’t know, but there was a reason they denied it,” Weston Spivey, Geneva District One Commissioner, said.

This happened in Commissioner Spivey’s district.

“These were construction improvements,” Commissioner Spivey said. “This was a construction site. This was not a negligent spot where it needed to be patched that wasn’t patched. This is a roadway that is about to go under major reworking.”

At the time of the incident, the road was being prepped for a repaving project.

“In order for us to repave, we had to go in and replace cross drains. We had to do preparation work on side before our paving contractor could get in,” Commissioner Spivey said. “So, we had to make some construction improvements and when you make those improvements, traffic has to slow down a lot.”

Justin Barfield, Geneva County Engineer said CRS contacts the office when someone submits a claim, but for this one, he said he was never contacted.

“We put the cross drain in and at some point over the weekend, a large amount of rainfall occurred. And as their pictures showed there was some settlement. But you know as we always do with cross drain replacements, we put up advanced warning signs, bump signs, etcetera to alert the traveling motor citizens, and as soon as we were alerted about the issue crews were sent out to level back up the side again,” Barfield said.

Rounds and her husband, James Cambron, claim there were no signs.

“They had just opened it back up, so we figured everything was fine,” Cambron said.

He said he plans to file a lawsuit if they are not reimbursed.

“This is not the way that county commissioners should respond to something like that,” Cambron said. “I mean, I understand if these other people don’t want to go after their vehicle getting repaired or getting reimbursed. That’s them, but I feel like that they should reimburse somebody to show they take the responsibility for what they left.”

Rounds and Cambron said they reached out to the commission before the meeting, but Barfield and Commissioner Spivey say that is not the case.

The repaving project on North County Road 49 is set to begin on Tuesday. Drivers are asked to try and avoid the area for the next two weeks. If you have to use it, expect slower travel times and use caution.

Commissioner Spivey is asking citizens to work with them.

Barfield said paving projects are scheduled and this project was originally scheduled for mid to late summer. He said it was pushed to the end of Summer, but remains on schedule.

Copyright 2021 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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