Some county officials in southeast Kentucky have an interesting technique for rewarding supporters and friends: deeding their private driveways to the county. The county subsequently builds a bridge or paves a driveway for the homeowner. In many instances, the work involved is suspiciously shy of $20,000, which is the amount at which bids must be submitted for county work.
The homeowner subsequently gets his own street sign and a new 911 address. Presumably, the county will be obligated to maintain the driveway forever, since it is now a public road.
These conversions (private to public driveways) have proliferated in some counties over the past several years, and the conversions are not available to the general public, only to officials’ friends or supporters.
Local prosecutors ignore this practice: most would not indict their friends in the courthouse if they stole it, brick by brick. This practice uses taxpayer money to benefit private individuals and is clearly a violation of public trust.
The attorney general should investigate this practice, which robs county treasuries of money needed to maintain county roads.
George R. Gibson