An unpaved Holton road that may not see Road Commission assistance.
HOLTON, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Muskegon County couple says they've been stranded at their home because crews will not maintain the unpaved public road where they live.
They live in the only house in the 5600 block of Crocker, near Holton. The County Road Commission says because it is the only house, it's not a funding priority.
Often times when Krystal Bowyer gets to the bottom of her driveway, an uphill battle begins.
"We have been completely stranded where the mouth is," says Bowyer.
Bowyer and her fiancee, Tom Smith, say that on top of paying taxes they spend $2,000 a year to maintain the public road outside their home.
"We have to grade it and we have to plow all winter long," says Bowyer.
"Everybody and their brother can come out here and tear the road up at my expense," says Smith.
The Road Commission leaders say their heavy duty maintenance trucks have trouble getting in and out of the road. However, the department's manager, Ken Hulka, was willing to visit the road to hear the couple's concerns.
"We're the only ones out here and you people don't care," Smith said to Hulka.
Hulka says his department only maintains roads that meet minimum requirements.
"I don't know why you feel the public should have to pay for it," Hulka said in response. "At some point you made the decision to build a home out here."
In some areas, the dirt holes from the rain washouts are 20 inches wide. Bowyer says even with four wheel drive it can be a struggle.
Hulka says the Road Commission is not required to maintain all public roads.
"This is a right of way that is under the Road Commission's jurisdiction, that doesn't mean it's maintained by the Road Commission," says Hulka.
Hulka did agree to send a letter to the U.S. Forest Service to ask for funding because the road leads to Manistee National Forest.
"We're just little old us out here, so they don't listen to us," says Bowyer.
Road Commission leaders say they would try maintaining the road if the couple spends their own money to upgrade it to minimum standards. The department says about half a dozen county residents live on public roads that are not maintained.