Man asks council to pay for car repairs

Published 8:00 am Thursday, February 13, 2020

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VALLEY — A Valley man made his case before the Valley City Council on Monday that the city should reimburse him for the cost of getting his car repaired after it sustained over $1,000 in damage after hitting a pothole on Fairfax Bypass.

Kenneth Pike told the council that he was a disabled Vietnam veteran and that on Jan. 28 his wife was driving the car when the incident occurred just south of the intersection with Hopewell Road. He said the tire blew out and the rim was severely damaged.

“We had to pull over on the side of the road and call road service to help us,” he said.

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He later went to a local tire business and paid $164 for a new tire. The new rim and front-end alignment cost around $875, taking the total bill past $1,000.

“A new rim had to be flown in from Texas,” he said.

Pike assumed that they were in Lee County when the mishap occurred and reported it to the Lee County Highway Department. He said they were very courteous and told him to bring his receipts, and they’d see what could be done. When he pinpointed the location, he was told he was on a road in Chambers County and not Lee County.

He then called Chambers County, gave the location and was told it was inside the Valley city limits. He then went and talked to Police Chief Tommy Weldon.

“He was extremely nice and told me there had been other incidents in other parts of town where similar things had happened,” Pike said. “The point I want to get across is that this is dangerous. These potholes need to be fixed.”

Pike said he’d again called the city and talked to City Clerk/Treasurer Kathy Snowden. “She was very nice but told us if the pothole had been patched before his tire blew out the city wouldn’t pay for the damages.”

Public Works Director Patrick Bolt told the council his department had been contacted about a pothole on Fairfax Bypass on a Monday and that they’d filled it in the next day.

Pike said that he was just asking for fairness and did not want to be belligerent toward anyone.

Mayor Leonard Riley said that what needed to be done was to find out the exact date the tire blew out and when the pothole was fixed.

“We will get back with you on this,” he told Mr. Pike.