Decatur Crater: Local green thumb finds solution to pothole problem

By Austin Jackson | Published Saturday, November 17, 2018

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From Pothole to Pot Hole

FROM POTHOLE TO POT HOLE – Ashley Wiley, a vigilante green thumb from Paradise, planted a shrub and potting soil in the pothole outside Cici’s Pizza and Tractor Supply Co. in the shopping center off Farm Road 51 in Decatur. Messenger photo by Austin Jackson

For around a month, a large pothole in the parking lot of a Decatur shopping center has rocked axles and suspensions, and at times caused serious damage to the vehicles of those who don’t see the crater in time.

With a shrub and potting soil in her hands, Ashley Wiley, a green thumb vigilante from Paradise, took action and found her own solution to the pothole problem.

“I’ve seen so many cars in the past month that have gotten their bumpers ripped off or tore up their tires to the rims, and I know people are reaching out to try and get it fixed and nothing was getting done,” Wiley said. “I thought, why not make a pothole a pot hole.”

Wednesday morning, Wiley purchased potting soil and a small plant at Walmart and jogged out into the intersection, planting her impromptu solution.

The pothole is located in the parking lot outside Cici’s Pizza and Tractor Supply Co. in the shopping center off Farm Market 51 in Decatur. Wiley said people on the Facebook group Wise County Rant and Rave have been brainstorming for solutions for weeks.

She posted a video of her vigilantism on her Facebook page. If anything, Wiley hopes the plant will at least help drivers become aware of the pothole to hopefully avoid serious damage to their vehicles.

Others soon decorated the shrub with Christmas ornaments and other items.

A more permanent solution for the pothole is in the works.

On Thursday, Decatur Real Estate Holdings LLC owner Neill Taylor, who owns the six-acre property where the Decatur crater sits, said he’s been working on filling the pothole for weeks.

“We gave the asphalt company authorization to go ahead and repair the pothole on Nov. 5,” Taylor, who operates out of Corpus Christi said.

He said it would cost $4,000 to $5,000 to fix the pothole. Taylor said the cold and wet weather delayed the repair and expects the pothole to be filled as soon as the weather clears up.

Taylor said it’s not the first time and won’t be the last that he’s had to repair potholes at the intersection.

The intersection connects the shopping center with the neighboring Walmart where cars and large trucks frequently pass through.

“Its a busy intersection. It’s basically a public street on private property,” Taylor said. “It was built to be a parking lot. It wasn’t built for the amount of traffic it gets.”

Property owner Gary Shelton, who owns several buildings in the same shopping center had to fill several of his own potholes recently. Shelton said the best solution for the busy intersection will be to pour concrete instead of asphalt.

“He needs to swallow hard and just do a concrete lane,” Shelton said. “The asphalt ain’t going to hold up.”

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