Church Seeks Help With Embankment Issue - WSPA.com

Church Seeks Help With Embankment Issue

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GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. -

If you're just passing by Berea Heights Baptist Church in Greenville County, it might not seem like a big deal.

To church members say the embankment is costing them in both pride and maintenance.

"It's not presentable for the neighborhood," said church member James Anderson. "We cannot cut that with a riding lawnmower because the mower will turn over."

James says instead, they have to hire someone to trim the bank, or one of the church deacons does it.

"And the man's like 80 years old, comes out here and weed eats all this," said James.

The church sits on White Horse Road in Greenville County which was widened last year.

James says before that there was no bank.

"I emailed and made phone calls with SC DOT. One of the deacons contacted one of the politicians and asked for his help," said James. "And we haven't received any resolution to the problem."

He says they've requested the DOT help them level it out with dirt and some grading.

The problem is the DOT says it can't spend taxpayer dollars on a fix that doesn't affect the road or benefit the traveling public.

That's where encroachment permits come in. They allow businesses or individuals to do work on a state right of way at their own expense.

It's a solution that could work for the church.

"We understand that that's a convenience for them, they want to be able to mow the bank," said Mike Holden, SC DOT Assistant District Maintenance Engineer. "If they would like to do that than maybe we can work with them and get a permit and they can have the work done."

James says the church will give it a try.

"We'll consider anything to resolve this problem. Any help we can get would be greatly appreciated," said James.

Holden says the DOT responds to requests all the time from people asking for routine maintenance of a right of way, like cleaning out a ditch or drainage pipe.

If it's part of their routine maintenance guidelines or benefits the traveling public, Holden says they will generally step in.

Businesses can go to the SC DOT's website to get the permit application process started.

Individuals should go to their county DOT office in person and ask to speak with the permit manager.

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