By TIM HORAN
One road in Holland Township was taken off the books. One was not.
That was after the Dickinson County Commission held a public meeting during its regular meeting Thursday on vacating the two roads.
At the request of the Holland Township board, two roads on about a mile and a half long stretch of 100 Avenue from Solomon Road to Bay Road and another about a half mile of 400 Avenue from Solomon Road east 2,632 feet, were the subject of the hearing. The commissioners were looking at vacating the two roads.
The road on 100 Avenue is on the border of Marion and Dickinson Counties.
Three local landowners, Jim and Jackie Gilbert of Gypsum and Sandi Slaughter of Ellis, said they didn’t want to see the road vacated.
“What our concerns are, that road is our only access to get back to our fields,” Jim Gilbert said. “Our question is: if they vacate it does that mean we lose access? We have to have access.”
“It has never been maintained,” Jackie Gilbert said of the road, thus it has not been an expense to the township.
County Manager Brad Homman said that if vacated, the property owners on each side of the road would now own the road to the middle.
Jim Gilbert said if the other property owner would put a fence down the middle of the road the remaining road would not be wide enough for the farm implements.
“We’re good neighbors,” Jackie Gilbert said. “But down the road and you vacate, what if you can’t get down the road? Do we come back to the commissioners?”
“Hypothetically, if you didn’t get along with the south property owner and you just had from the middle of the road to your property and you needed to get down to your property, would you be able to do that?” Homman asked.
“No,” both Gilberts replied.
There was not a member of the Holland Township board present at the meeting to explain why it wanted to vacate the road.
The land on both sides of the road on 400 Avenue are owned by the same person and no one was present from that road.
The commission approved vacating the 400 Avenue road but took no action on the 100 Avenue road.
The commission also briefly discussed the fence viewing on Tuesday.
Shirley Howard asked for the fence viewing between her land and that of a wheat field owned by Paul Morse and farmed by Jeff Bathurst.
“We asked them if they had any suggestions on how they could work things out,” Myers said. “They both started talking about what they could do to fix the fence. I said they might be more satasified working it out than if Craig and I made a decision because they might not like it if we made a decision.”
He said they came together on the details of what each party would do in the fall after harvest. The minutes of that meeting will be sent to the parties involved.
“Communication is the key to these types of situations,” Myers said. “I really think it is in the best interest of every person if they are going to do something, they should talk to their neighbor ahead of time before they do it. I think 90 percent, or even 100 percent, of things can be resolved if they communicate with each other like we did out there. I was very satisfied that they came to an agreement.”
“I would like to say that I thought Jeff Bathurst got the ball rolling on this,” Chamberlin said. “He was instrumental in getting the parties talking.”
According to the minutes “Mr. Bathurst, on behalf of the Morse property agreed that he would obtain and place wooden fence posts periodically in the western 1/3 of the current fence to provide the stability needed and prevent the fence from being able to be pushed over by the cattle in the future. He also agreed to obtain and place wood fence posts for the east 2/3s of the fence up to and including the corner posts at the point where the north fence meets the fence that goes south on the Howard property. Mr. Bathurst also agreed to use his dozer to work the ground along the fence and to repair the broken pond dam to prevent future erosion of the area along the fence.”
“Mrs. Howard agreed to purchase steel fence posts and fence wire as needed and install same on the east 2/3s of the fence, using the wood posts placed by Mr. Bathurst and install same to construct the fence. Mrs. Howard also agreed to provide her fence contracted builder to assist in installing and repairing the above as described.
“Both Mrs. Howard and Mr. Morse agreed that the above work would not be conducted until later in the fall of 2013, after harvest and when it was mutually agreeable to both parties to do the work. Both parties also agreed to communicate better and to keep each other informed of the other person’s intentions and schedules on this project.”
The commissioners commented on Camp 911 which was attended Tuesday and Wednesday by 39 sixth grade students in Abilene. Homman said that the camp started in 2006. The Dickinson County Emergency Services put on the camp. Homman said it is funding solely by donations.
In other action, the commission:
• approved minutes to the June 6 work session and regular meeting, and the special fence viewing on June 11, fund expenditures of $208,353.87 and abatements of $287.22’
• approved a application for the retail sale of fireworks in the county with a $300 fee.