Walter Johnson, Sr. said he knew what he was getting into when he moved to Thompson Road in the rural, northernmost part of Madison County in 2006.

The road, which is more of a gravel street, was considered by the county to be a private drive, meaning the county would not be responsible for maintenance on the roughly 2,000 feet of road that used to lead to Mt. Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church.

“When the church moved back to Pisgah Bottom Road, the county stopped taking care of (Thompson Road),” Johnson said. “I’ve been keeping it up since I moved here in 2006.”

Johnson - the pastor at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Canton for the past 49 years - said he has personally invested $2,700 on gravel to surface the road, but now needs help from the county.

He was one of 12 residents who last week signed and presented a notarized petition asking the Madison County Board of Supervisors to take over maintenance of the road.

The board voted unanimously to accept the petition and formed a two-person committee - District 3 Supervisor Gerald Steen and District 4 Supervisor David Bishop - to go out and inspect the road.

Bishop said Wednesday that the duo had not had an opportunity to travel to the site, but that they intended to before the next meeting of the board on Monday, July 15.

The supervisors are also looking into whether renovations are required at Rogers Park in Canton after another concerned citizen raised issues over safety.

Tim Taylor, who said he walks in the park at least four days a week, said the conditions of the entrance road are unsafe due to potholes.
“My concern is for the senior citizens that walk that park,” Taylor said. “With the pavement and the entrance being so uneven, it could be detrimental and a great liability for somebody if someone trips and falls. That doesn’t have to happen if its fixed.”

The board ordered county Road Manager Cornelius Bacon out to take a look at the entrance, and told Taylor they would look into his other concerns and produce a report for the next meeting.