County commissioners made a compromise decision on the closure of Limestone Rd. between 80th Rd. and U.S. 50 after hearing what a county resident had to say during a public hearing Monday.
Shane Rives, whose residence is reached directly via the portion of road commissioners want to close, came to voice his objections to closure. Rives offered to do some of the repair work himself if commissioners would permit the road to stay open.
One of his reasons is to save wear and tear on the family’s vehicles. The road closure would mean driving longer distances on unpaved roads, he said.
“I realize it would take a lot of work,” Rives said.
Commissioner Randy Dallke said the closure would mean the Rives family would drive one extra mile to reach the highway. Dallke pointed out that the road is not high on the county’s maintenance list and often impassable after rain.
“If there’s a shower, nine times out of 10, somebody’s stuck down there,” Dallke said.
Rives said he had been aware of people getting stuck, but not often.
“I guarantee you that road’s been causing problems for 15 years,” Dallke said.
Rives said he pays $8,000 property tax and asked how much property tax he’d save by the road closure.
Commissioner Dan Holub said property taxes, though paid to the county, are divided among several taxing entities, such as schools, fire services, cemeteries and the state.
“We send you the tax bill and we turn around and send that money to them,” Holub said.
Rives said he has a grader at his residence and is willing to grade the road himself. He said he is prepared to spend as much as $20,000 to protect the property value of his home.
Holub said if Rives wants to get an engineer’s estimate of the cost of repairing the road, the matter could be discussed again.
Initially, Dallke said commissioners would not vote on the issue because commissioner Lori Lalouette was absent, but county clerk Tina Spencer questioned whether commissioners could have a hearing at one meeting and make a decision at a later meeting.
Ultimately, commissioners voted that the road would be closed in 60 days unless Rives brings an engineer’s report and is willing to pay the cost.
In other matters Monday, commissioners heard from road and bridge superintendent Jesse Hamm that bridge inspections will begin this week, heard a review of Safe Kids Grant from Health Department administrator Diedre Serene, heard a monthly report from Emergency Medical Services administrator Ed Debesis, and approved a contract for the Pictometry company to do a new countywide aerial photography project.