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At wrong end of dead end road, store owner seeks help

By Staff
PAINFUL WAIT Dorothy Hagwood, owner of the Causeyville General Store and Mill, looks on as workers spread gravel on Causeyville Road. Construction delays and rainy weather have kept the road closed for five weeks, seriously hurting her business, she said. Photo by Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
April 3, 2001
A bridge project on Causeyville Road has caused revenue at a local store to drop so drastically that Lauderdale County supervisors agreed Monday to consider reimbursing the store owner's losses.
Causeyville General Store and Mill owner Dorothy Hagwood told the board Monday that an unpaved detour road Pickard-Campbell Road has potholes and was not designed for heavy use.
The road was supposed to handle traffic while a State Aid bridge reconstruction project continues on Causeyville Road. But recent construction activity  already delayed by rain and right-of-way acquisition problems  has left Hagwood essentially at the wrong end of a dead end road.
She said distributor trucks which service her store, such as those owned by Budweiser and Pepsi, have threatened to stop delivering products to her because the detour road is in such disrepair. Even school buses must take an alternative route or else get bogged down in mud.
Lauderdale County State Aid Engineer Terrell Temple attended the board meeting to answer questions about the project.
Introduced to the board by District 5 Supervisor Ray Boswell, Hagwood asked Temple and the supervisors to place gravel in the muddy areas until the project could be completed. She also asked them to re-open the road. She said the road closures have put her store in a dead-end not accessible to customers and vendors.
Boswell said Hagwood's lost revenue should also be reimbursed.
Temple said the old bridge had to be removed because its pilings were made of timber and were 35 years old. He said widening the bridge and putting up guardrails to the project specifications required officials to have an additional 40 feet of right of way which they had trouble getting because some of the private land was pine plantation tied up in trust.
Difficulty getting right of way coupled with a number of rainy days delayed construction, he said.
Board president Jimmie Smith asked him if gravel could be added.
Hagwood asked if gravel could be put down and the road reopened if it rains this week and Temple said yes.
Board Attorney Rick Barry told Hagwood to write a letter to the board comparing her revenue in March 2001 to her revenue in March for the last couple of years and the board would consider repaying losses.
Hagwood said she estimated her revenue this year was three-fourths less than what her store brought in last year this time. She said she has had to cut vendors and orders. She said she cut ice cream from $100 to $150 down to $15 this week. Her bread order was cut back 20 loaves.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.

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