- New Resident's Guide to Rural Living
- Property / Road Access
Property / Road Access
The fact that you can drive to your property does not necessarily guarantee that you, your guests and emergency service vehicles can achieve that same level of access at all times. There can be problems with the legal aspects of access, especially if you gain access across property belonging to others. It is wise to obtain legal advice and understand the easements that may be necessary when these types of questions arise.
Emergency response times (sheriff, fire suppression, medical care, etc.) cannot be guaranteed. Under some extreme conditions, you may find that emergency response takes longer than anticipated.
Jasper County maintains almost 1,000 miles of roads, but private roads that are maintained by private road associations serve some rural properties. There are some county roads that are not maintained by the county, no grading or snow plowing. Make sure you know what type of maintenance to expect and who will provide that maintenance. School buses may not travel on some private roads inside subdivisions. You may need to drive your children to the nearest county road so they can get to school.
A gravel road that drives “well” represents a delicate balance between being too wet, (mud, ruts, slippery) and being too dry (potholes, washboards, corrugations and dust). The condition of the road can go from good to bad in a matter of a few hours depending on rain, snow, temperature and traffic. Jasper County has no control over these matters. Many large construction vehicles cannot navigate small, narrow roads. If you plan to build, it is wise to checkout construction access.
In extreme winter weather, county roads can become impassable. In these conditions even a four-wheel drive vehicle may not help, you may need a four-wheel drive vehicle with chains for all four wheels to travel during these episodes. Even with four-wheel drive, there may be times when you cannot get to work. Your employer needs to realize that this may happen, before it does. Jasper County does not send excuses to employers for such situations.
Natural disasters, especially floods, can damage roads. A small stream bed can become a raging torrent and wash out roads, bridges, and culverts. Jasper County will repair and maintain county roads. However, private subdivision roads are the responsibility of the landowners that use those roads.
Gravel roads generate dust. You may contract to have a dust control product applied to your road, but dust is still a fact of life for most rural residents. If your road is gravel, it is highly unlikely that Jasper County will pave it in the foreseeable future. Check carefully with the Engineer’s Office when a seller indicates that a property’s county gravel road will be paved!
During the annual “spring thaw,” gravel roads can become very soft and easily damaged by heavy loads. At these times, we may ask that school buses use hard surfaced roads only. This means that it may be necessary for you to take your children to the nearest paved road to meet their bus in the morning and to pick them up after school. These conditions may exist for several days at a time, strictly depending on the weather.
Mail / Newspaper Delivery
Mail delivery may not be available to all areas of the county. Ask the postmaster to describe the system for your area. Newspaper delivery may not always available to rural areas. Check with the newspaper of your choice before assuming you can get delivery.
Standard parcel and overnight package delivery can be a problem for those who live in rural areas. Confirm with the service providers as to your status. It may be more expensive and time consuming to build a rural residence due to delivery fees and the time required for subcontractors to reach your site.