Camden County Sheriff clarifies E911 mapping change near 'gravel gate' roadway

Mitch Prentice
Lake Sun Leader
A private property sign can be seen posted on the gravel roadway near Crater Hill Road that was said to have had county road work done recently.

Local concern was recently raised over the changing of E911 mapping near the area impacted by the 'gravel gate' controversy. 

In Decemebr, concerns over the use of county funds to pave a private roadway were raised over the weekend by residents in Camden County. A Facebook post to the Lake Area Happenings group showcased newly laid gravel on a road clearly marked as private property. The post also claimed that the property was connected in part to a resident who had donated $3,000 to the campaign of Camden County Associate Commissioner, 2nd District Don Williams. This raised the question of whether or not this gravel work was being done as a trade of favor for said donation.

Camden County Presiding Commissioner Greg Hasty and 2nd District Commisioner Don Williams respond to the claims, denying wrongdoing. They stated that the inquiry with their county attorney indicated that the road has been maintained by the county for a period of time sufficient to meet the requirements of the law regarding public roads.  

See more: Camden County Commissioners deny wrongdoing in county road work done on private property

On Thursday, 2/25, local residents on social media brought forth concern with a change to the E911 mapping in the area. According to their posts, the mapping shortened the roadway by 1/8th of a mile. The post indicated a belief that this was in connection to the past controversy and also in regards to a current lawsuit against the land owners. The post stated that this change would halt any attempt to compromise to the lawsuit. The post closed, stating that they suspected "it was done intentionally as part of a further cover-up." 

Camden County Sheriff Tony Helms sent out a press release Friday, hoping to explain the change in E911 mapping. The statement reads as follows:

"In light of recent comments and concerns, I wanted to expel some rumors and clarify some recent activities.

Currently, our E911 department maps and addresses residences throughout Camden County daily. These changes are then periodically sent to the assessor's office to be loaded onto our GIS site as a layer for addressing. We utilize these center lines and mapping lines to locate houses for the response of our emergency personnel (Fire department, ambulance, law enforcement).

In no way do these "shapes" represent boundary lines or any legal parameters of property lines. It is simply a way for us to find a location. These centerlines are moved daily as we find difficulties in our response to finding locations.

The road on Crater Hill Drive was modified on this layer on 10/27/2020, because it encompassed too much mapping area for addresses. Therefore, it was shortened on our centerlines to avoid confusion of response. In no way does the sheriff's office have the power to edit information on the GIS site. We also do not have the power to vacate a roadway or remove it from the GIS site. Again, this is simply a layer we use for emergency response and we allow the public to view it in order to find addresses as well.

Upon entering the GIS site, you will see a disclaimer that explains this further. I hope this clarifies the recent confusion."