BROKEN BOW–Multiple county roads have officially been declared vacated by the Custer County Board of Supervisors following its meeting on Tuesday, November 24. A public hearing was held regarding the possible relocation of Road #857 within the Custer Township.
The relocation of the road was proposed by Alden Unruh but was denied by the board following the public hearing. Resolution #68R-2020 was approved which declared Road #857 vacated. After years of discussion and road studies, the closure will take effect January 1, 2021.
Unruh had presented a proposal to the board in July and expressed concerns for some of the dangers presented on the road. Custer Township representative Richard Maxwell spoke to the board during the September 15 meeting saying Road #857 was approved as a minimum maintenance road by the township board in June of 1996. He added that this was done as a convenience to the property owner–Alden Unruh–and that the road leads to a mobile home which is used as a rental property.
Also in September, Maxwell said due to weight restrictions, road graders are unable to cross a bridge along Road #857 in order to maintain it and cannot access the road via the pasture due to liability. Maxwell said special efforts to maintain the road have all been done to accommodate Unruh but that a government entity is not required to maintain a road that leads to a private structure.
Roads #1146 and #755 were declared vacated as part of Resolution #69R-2020. The roads are located within the Broken Bow and Kilfoil Townships near Jennifer and Jason Sittler’s home which is near a railroad crossing. The Sittlers had filed petitions to vacate the roads in order to close the railroad crossing and reduce the noise from trains.
Following the July 14 meeting in which the Sittlers addressed the board, the supervisors were in contact with BNSF Railway regarding a pending verbal agreement to address the safety concerns at the Anderson’s railroad crossing near Anselmo. The board’s concern was whether or not work on one crossing would affect the other. The railroad crossing near the Sittler’s has been closed along with the adjacent roads vacated.
County Clerk Constance Gracey told KCNI/KBBN that Custer County will receive thousands of dollars from BNSF for closing the railroad crossing at Road #1146/#755. (Custer County also received funds for closing a railroad crossing in Mason City at Road #325 1/2 during the October 13 meeting.)
Gracey and County Attorney Steve Bowers said those funds will be used to defray some of the costs of making the Anselmo railroad crossing safer. Bowers said work on the Anderson’s crossing could possibly begin as soon as the spring.