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Date set for families to settle land dispute

By By William F. West / community editor
Oct. 8, 2002
The Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors set a meeting for next month to give two families a chance to settle a dispute over land access rights.
The dispute started after Eugene Tanner and his wife, Mary Jean Tanner, bought a piece of landlocked property off Fairchild Road west of Meridian.
The Tanners said they want to have a home on the land and need the right to access a path on property belonging Roderick Barham and his wife, Sara.
The Tanners, represented at Monday's board meeting by attorney Lester Williamson, said they have repeatedly asked for access because they will have no other way of getting in and out.
In May, the Tanners, through Williamson, petitioned the supervisors, saying they are willing to pay a fair price for access but have either been ignored or rejected.
Sara Barham told supervisors the path on her property was once used by a former neighbor's son during hunting season. She said access to the path is now unavailable to anyone outside her family.
Barham's son, Wade, also told supervisors if the Tanners are given access to the path they will pass through both the front yard of his mobile home and his shop.
David Compton told the supervisors his father-in-law, Jarrel Davis, has adjoining land and would be willing to provide access through that property provided he receives fair compensation.
Compton said, however, that such a proposal would require cooperation among the neighbors.
After much discussion, supervisors' attorney Rick Barry suggested the matter be put on hold.
Board President Craig Hitt said he would like to see the Barhams, the Tanners and other nearby landowners get together and see whether they can reach a solution.
The meeting is set for Nov. 4 at 1 p.m. in the boardroom.