Who owns Peak Creek?
Ever asked your self that question?
The Town of Pulaski is asking and, so far, hasn’t been able to find out who owns most of it.
Pulaski Town Manager John Hawley said ownership of the section of the creek between Washington and Randolph avenues has been determined through a tax ticket. He said a “series of individuals,” possibly heirs of the family that originally channeled the creek, own that section.
The town owns a small portion of the creek below the train trestle that runs between East Main and First Streets.
As for the rest of the creek, ownership appears to be less clearly defined.
The ownership question has arisen several times over the past few years, but it wasn’t until recently the town has been trying to track down an answer. Some of the issues that have raised the question include the town’s interest in developing public access to the creek and, more recently, the need for repairs to some of the retaining wall.
Hawley said he doesn’t know who is responsible for upkeep of the retaining walls at this time. However, he questioned whether the town’s insurance provider might require a higher premium if the town take responsibility for them.
He noted at least one section of the wall has “significant problems.”
Councilman Morgan Welker said he thinks it would be in the best interest of the town, businesses and citizens if a government agency owned the creek – whether it be the town, county, state or federal government.
Councilman Joseph Goodman disagreed.
“Are we talking about acquiring something we know has a problem?” he asked. “That will be more money to spend that we don’t have.”
He said he thinks the town should find out who owns it and tell them to fix it.
Town Attorney David Warburton noted town council may choose to accept or reject his recommendations based on the fact he has an interest in the creek because his law office is located along it.
He said he doesn’t think the town can “make a responsible decision” on what to do about the wall until ownership is established.
“I just see the creek as something that’s an integral part of the community. It’s a community asset,” Welker said.
According to Pulaski Economic Development Director John White, Pulaski Land and Development Company built the walls in 1884.
Warburton said the town could file a “suit to quiet title” if ownership cannot be determined. Basically, he said that allows a court to decide ownership based on available records.
Council voted to have town staff continue trying to determine ownership “if at all possible” and provide the information to council.