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Lake roads

To the editor:

We, the people of Marion County Lake, request that the county commission and the county fulfill their obligation to maintain roadways at the county lake.

After researching county records, attorney general opinions, state court rulings, and state statutes, we have come to the conclusion that the county should be responsible for simple, basic, routine maintenance of all roadways at the county lake.

The subdivisions here at the lake have been platted and are recorded in the register of deeds office in the courthouse.

County surveyors, county engineers, county attorneys, and at times county commissioners have approved these platted subdivisions, which include roadways.

According to KSA 68-106, this is a legislative declaration that, upon recording of the report, survey, and plat, the road shall be regarded as legally established.

Attorney general opinion 93-117 states that a county road has been established upon recording the survey and plat of the same.

A platted road is a public road and open to public travel according to Kiehl v. Jamison.

In a developed area, acceptance can be “expressed,” which is where the recording of plats comes into play, or “implied,” which is when the county has come in and maintained roadways at one point or another.

Since the county at times has filled holes or washouts on these roadways or placed millings for dust control, this would mean the county has accepted these as roadways.

The county also has placed signs identifying each of these roadways. Because of a 911 mandate, each home is required to have a physical address. This, too, suggests that the roadways have been accepted.

“Once accepted, the county is responsible for road maintenance,” according to the 2001 Supreme Court case Carlson v. Stehlik.

There are some who will tell you that most of these roads do not meet the specifications or guidelines to be a road.

However, many of these roads were built very early on, some in the 1940s, and others before statutes changed. Thus, they are grandfathered in.

According to Willis v. Sproules, “a road is considered a road that was in effect at the time.” Gronniger v. Doniphan County states that “it is the duty of the county to maintain roads as originally opened.” According to attorney general opinion 91-163, “when a plat is approved and recorded, the county has accepted the roads even if the roads were not established correctly”.

The county will say its equipment is too big to get down some of these roads.

We are not asking for big equipment but rather a dump truck of rock along with a tractor with a bucket loader and a blade to smooth out the rock put on the roads.

With the amount of taxes that are being paid at the lake, we feel it is not too much to ask the county for simple, routine maintenance of these roadways.

Greg Wyatt
Marion County Lake

Editor’s note —Wyatt also gave this letter to county commissioners Monday. They referred it to county counselor Brad Jantz to answer.

Last modified May 23, 2024

 

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