In 2010, 450 people signed a petition to keep open the road leading to Hotchkiss Landing on the Alapaha River, according the Lowndes County Commission minutes for the 26 October 2010 Public Hearing.
Abandon a portion of Old State Road (CR 16), County Manager, Joe Pritchard, presented the road closure for consideration, adding that the engineering department had indicated twenty-five vehicles per day on the road. Glenda Cofield, Mullins Lane, spoke against the request, and presented
a petition submitted prior to the work session with the unverified signatures of 450 area residents included. Mrs. Cofield added that the boat ramp was used by many and needed to be improved. Mrs. Cofield further stated that Department of Natural Resources had guidelines by which the county could move forward with repairs to the ramp. Commissioner Lee stated that it might be an issue for the parks and recreation to explore. Mr. Steve Bays, stated that he was new to the area and used the access to launch his canoe. Commissioner Evans asked those in attendance that did not want the road closed to stand (nearly half those in attendance stood up). Commissioner Evans thanked those standing for their participation. Mr. Phillip Connell, spoke for the closure as the property owner. Mr. Connell stated that the public continues to use his property to dump trash and as a place to trespass and drink alcohol. Mr. Connell further stated that he had put up with it for years and was tired of it, adding that he would continue to allow access to those who were respectful of the area. Chairman Paulk thanked Mr. Connell for his comments. Commissioner Evans recognized the presence of Mr. J.C. Riley of Naylor. Mr. Riley stated that he understood the predicament of Mr. Connell; however, he and 2 others use the access to enjoy the river and that it is a part of the quality of life in Naylor that everyone enjoys. Commissioner Lee asked Mr. Connell if his property was fenced to keep out trespassers. Mr. Connell replied that additional fencing would be his next option if the road remained open. Commissioner Evans made a motion to deny the closure request, indicating that the road is still used by the public, Vice Chairman Carter second. Motion carried. Chairman Paulk asked those in attendance to assist Mr. Connell with policing the area and encouraged them to report unlawful activity.
Yes, we have video, which will follow.
Update 5 February 2013: Here is the video.
This is the same stretch of county road to the same Alapaha River landing that's scheduled for another public hearing in two weeks.