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Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • Clayton town officials, residents clean up Huntington Mills

  • A group of residents living in Huntington Mills in Clayton raised concerns earlier this summer over unkempt and overgrown lots in the housing development to Clayton Town Council.


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  • THE ISSUE A group of residents living in Huntington Mills in Clayton raised concerns earlier this summer over unkempt and overgrown lots in the housing development to Clayton Town Council. Roughly 20 lots in the development off of Wheatley’s Pond Road were overgrown with high grass and some were littered with trash. Fearing the safety of their children playing in the development during summer months, the residents questioned Council about what could be done.
    Since the owner of the lots is in bankruptcy, Clayton Council was asked to help tackle the issue in Huntington Mills. Council agreed to do just that during a July streets committee meeting, and members of the town along with residents in the development held a community clean up day on July 23.
    WHAT’S HAPPENED Members of town council, residents of Huntington Mills and even State Rep. Lincoln Willis came out for the community clean up to lend a helping hand. Since then, town workers have gone out to cut the grass at the vacant lots.
    While some residents have complimented the town for helping, some of the residents in the development are still unhappy with the situation at Huntington Mills. One resident in particular is Sterling Enos Sr. who not only feels the issue could’ve been prevented but that the town should do more.
    Enos said if the town had gotten a performance bond for the developer, the development wouldn’t be in this position.
    “They [the town] should’ve asked for a performance bond before they let the developer come in and do anything,” Enos said. “They admitted it was a mistake but are learning as they go along.”
    Town foreman Jeff Hurlock said that while the town is working on making a performance bond mandatory in the future, the lots would still be an issue. The issues with the streets in the development and not the lots would be covered in a performance bond.
    At this point, Hurlock said the town is working on amending the subdivision ordinance to require developers to have a performance bond.
    “The performance bond would be for new, incoming developments and for existing developments that have only completed the first phase. Existing developments would need to get a performance bond before starting the second phase of construction,” Hurlock said.
    WHAT’S NEXT The town is going to spray the streets to kill weeds and will eventually operate the street sweeper in the neighborhood. Residents also have voiced concerns over streets in need of paving in the development. Last year, Hurlock explained that the top coat for the streets in Huntington Mills hasn’t been down.
    Page 2 of 2 - When it comes to the streets, Hurlock recently said the roads will eventually get paved but the town is waiting for the developer to come out of bankruptcy before taking any action. With no bond stating the developer would reimburse the town, the developer wouldn’t be required to reimburse the town should they pave the streets now.
    Email Jennifer Dailey at jennifer.dailey@doverpost.com

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