A local developer wants the Town of Dickson to take over responsibility for maintaining the streets in his housing subdivision, but town trustees said Monday they want the condition of the streets improved before they agree to accept them.


A local developer wants the Town of Dickson to take over responsibility for maintaining the streets in his housing subdivision, but town trustees said Monday they want the condition of the streets improved before they agree to accept them.

Milton Murphy and his wife, Claire, began developing the Murphy Addition off of Grandview Road in 2000. Since then, 36 brick homes have been built in the subdivision.

Murphy said he spent $82,073 over the years building and maintaining the streets, but their condition has declined substantially over time.

“I’m reaching 80 years of age, and I don’t think that I can maintain them much longer,” he said Monday during the Board of Trustees meeting.

Murphy wants to turn that responsibility over to the town and have the trustees petition the county commissioners to pave or oil and chip the streets. The crux of the matter, however, is who is going to foot the bill.

District 1 Commissioner Bill McLaughlin cannot legally work on the private streets until they are officially “accepted” by either the town or the county. Should the town accept the streets and ask for the county’s help, McLaughlin said he could provide the manpower and equipment for the project but not the gravel.

“There’s not enough material to grade now,” he said. “It’s basically dirt, and it needs rock. I’d haul it and spread it.”

He estimated it would cost between $20,000 and $30,000 to purchase enough gravel to do the job right. It would be even more expensive to oil and chip the streets, he said.

The town has a small street fund that is typically used for signs and light replacements, but it is not large enough to fund a project of this magnitude, town officials said. The fund’s balance was less than $1,000 following the fiscal year that ended on June 30.

“Get them in better shape, then the city can consider accepting the streets,” Mayor Robbie White said, speaking for the trustees after hearing from Murphy and several homeowners.

When asked what he was willing to spend to improve the streets, Murphy said, “I’m not going to put anything into them.”

That leaves Murphy Addition residents at an impasse unless they decide to take action themselves. Several residents who attended the Monday meeting said they intended to get together later to discuss how they might collectively address the issue.

The trustees voted to table the matter until next month’s meeting on March 22.