Attorney William Smith says he found himself at a crossroads a few weeks ago because of a pothole problem on his street.
“I thought, this is my hometown. I can do this. I can do this,” Attorney William Smith said. “I live here, and I suppose I was frustrated, but I felt like I can do something more than just stand by and watch it. If everybody would do that, we would have better streets everywhere.”
He contacted the city of Jackson about fixing two big potholes near his home, but when that problem went unresolved, he took matters into his own hands. He says one of them took 200 pounds of asphalt to fill. The city doesn’t want citizens doing this, but he says he did it anyway to keep his family safe.
“To avoid the potholes, you either had to have a head on collision or someone would have to stop. There’s a big ditch there on top of that, and I just decided that the danger to my four kids was not worth watching anymore,” Smith said.
Jackson recently launched its pothole blitz. It’s a street by street plan that aims to fill the thousands of trouble spots across Jackson. City leaders say they plan to address all of the issues, but it’s going to take time
If you’re one of those people who can’t stand the wait, you should know the city has an ordinance in place that forbids this kind of work being done by anyone outside of city employees.
The city sent us a statement that reads: Any type of debris disposed in a public street is prohibited and could cause accidents and an unsafe environment for motorists. We advise the public to use the City’s 3-1-1 line to report any hazards in the streets.
Sec. 110-20. – Deposits on or alterations of streets.
It shall be unlawful to sink, alter or cut into any public street or square, or remove there from or deposit therein any dirt, rubbish or other material without permission from the city council.
We are told enforcement of that rule would be handled through the police department, but Smith says he took the risk to protect his family and neighbors.
“I wouldn’t want every citizen in the middle of State Street around 5’oclock patching potholes, but I will say this. I believe that the city council is well-intentioned, but if we don’t get some things moving, there will be more and more of this,” Smith said. “ “Otherwise, we will have to change the name from the bold new city to the city of state office buildings, text exempt organizations, and potholes because that’s all you’re going to have.”