The owner of Tillison Bend Campground in Gadsden, Ala., has spoken out about the ongoing situation between him and the Etowah County Commission regarding the county’s Road Access Management Policy, according to The Gadsden Times.
Last Tuesday (June 7), Commissioner Joey Statum personally invited nearly two dozen Tillison Bend residents to speak to the commission regarding their concerns over the roads and what will occur once the campground is fully operational.
Statum during the meeting said the campground’s owner, Joey Fortenberry, had not complied with the policy because he started the project without first applying for the necessary permits.
“We told him about the policy before he officially bought the property, where he was asked to comply with it,” Statum said. “He has since built onto the property and consulted with an engineer about the costs to widen the road. The bottom line is that now, he refuses to do it.”
However, Fortenberry says that this is not the case at all.
“I bought the land from a friend of mine, where he was originally going to build a subdivision. Before I purchased it, I got with my attorneys to check and see if there were any policies or laws in place that could stop me and there weren’t,” he said. “I called everybody, including the county and the city. I was never told about the policy until after I bought the property, and I have emails to back that fact up.”
While Fortenberry sympathizes with residents over their concerns about the roads, he believes he should not be responsible for the needed work because “it should have been done years ago” by the county.