A dispute about a road continues on.
During Tuesday's meeting of the Clay County Commissioners, Attorneys Jim Deal and Charles Hear argued about the potential closing of Center Street in Ashboro.
Hear represents James D. Butt, who is disputing the petition to close the road and claims that it would essentially prevent him from accessing his property. His property is contiguous to the Barrows First Edition subdivision and does have a secondary access along Elm Street, but the he would have to boat across the lake in order to access the rest of his land.
Deal and his clients are offering a 15x75-foot easement to Butt, however, the two sides have been unable to reach an agreement since the August meeting when the matter was first introduced to the commissioners.
The commissioners expressed concerns that the two sides were conducting court-type proceedings in front of them.
"We are giving you a platform to discuss an issue that probably needs to be upstairs in front of a judge," Commissioners President Charlie Brown said. "Our obligation is to the taxpayers and we need to determine whether the road is useful or not."
While reviewing the plat books and abstracts, Commissioners Attorney Eric Somheil noticed that the end of the road is also adjacent to a corner of property owned by Ashboro United Methodist Church, which had not been notified of the petition to close the road.
Although the commissioners passed the first reading of the petition with the stipulation that the church must be notified and provide their opinion on the situation before final action is taken at the October meeting, they are not able to fully conclude the dispute. They do have the power do decide to vacate a street, but do not have the ability to make a decision regarding the granting of easements.
"I have great faith that an easement will be worked out and Mr. Butt will not be landlocked," Commissioner Paul Sinders said. "Typically I would not vote for the closing of a road that would prevent someone from accessing their land, but I feel that if both sides get together, they can work this out.
Other items of note during Tuesday's meeting include:
* Final passage of the closing of Bono Street in Cory, which had no disputes,
* Accepting a request from Brazil Township to allow an extension to repay a $20,000 loan given to them last year to continue operations. The township office is currently closed to public assistance due to a lack of funds, and plans to reopen once tax money is distributed. The commissioners also denied a request for an additional $40,000 because of concerns of the township not being able to pay it back, even though the township has set up a debt service in their budget for next year,
* The signing of a proclamation presented by Clay County Farm Bureau President Marshall Nuckolls for Resource Conservation and Development (RC & D) week starting Sept. 22, and
* Approval of specifications for a drivable excavator and a tractor for ditching. Quotes will be accepted and opened at a special meeting Sept 18, at 10 a.m.
The next regular meeting of the Clay County Commissioners will be Monday, Oct. 6, at 9 a.m., in the Commissioners' Courtroom of the Clay County Courthouse.