• Last modified 599 days ago (Aug. 31, 2017)


‘Take it out of my paycheck’

County makes “one-time” payment to landowner with sprinkler in easement

Staff writer

The county will pay the bill for a property owner whose lawn irrigation system that encroached on county property was damaged by a road maintainer.

Road and bridge supervisor Jesse Hamm presented a bill to commissioners for a $38 sprinkler head from Gerald Jost.

Commissioner Kent Becker said he told Jost the county would pay for his sprinkler hit by a road maintainer, even though it was in a county easement.

“I probably sent him the wrong message because when he called me that day, he said they took out my irrigation,” Becker said. “He didn’t say lawn irrigation. I’m thinking that the maintainer hit maybe his center pivot.”

Becker said the sprinkler was placed in the easement to make the ditch match the lawn.

“I’d hate to tell him that we’d pay something and then we don’t,” Becker said, “but I also know that it probably does send a mixed message.”

Commissioner Dianne Novak said the same problem could happen if the county does work on the shoulders of roads at the county lake.

“It’s the wrong thing to do, I’m totally opposed to paying anything for that,” Novak said. “He puts it out on our right of way, it’s at his risk. I just think you’re going to have a whole keg of worms if you go ahead and pay that.”

Hamm said the county typically replaces mailboxes damaged by county road maintainers.

Becker said he “spoke too soon” when he told Jost the county would pay for the damage.

“To me, it’s kind of a one-time thing because I probably stuck my foot in my mouth when I said if we damage your irrigation, we should probably pay for it,” Becker said.

“I’m going to vote to pay for it with the stipulation that knowing that a commissioner said that that’s what we would do,” commission chairman Randy Dallke said.

“I just want to clarify, so as a commissioner, if I tell them we’ll pay for it, we will,” Novak said.

“You can vote it down and it’s not going to hurt my feelings,” Becker said. “I’ll just have to explain to him that I didn’t realize that it was his lawn care system out there in the road.”

“I’m just looking for fair and equality across the board,” Novak said. “We’re either going to do it for all or none.”

Becker offered to pay the bill from his paycheck, but commissioners voted 2-1 to pay it from the county’s purse.


Emma Tajchman, director of planning, zoning, and environmental health, updated commissioners on a violation notice sent to Gavin Shields for a storage property south of Lincolnville.

Shields said he hauled off old cars for scrap metal, but took a 50 percent cut on his profit by not waiting for prices to go up.

Tajchman, using drone and Google Earth images, said Shields has complied with the original request. If commissioners want more of the property cleaned, they would need a new request.

Shields said some of the scrap metal and other objects on the property are protected by the Right to Farm Act.

In other business

  • Tajchman showed commissioners where the Dan Rd. and Lakeshore Dr. intersection crosses through private property, which is used as a shortcut to reach Upland Rd. Commissioners discussed options for contacting property owners in the area.
  • Novak told commissioners that Hamm spent several hours, both at work and outside of work, researching information for a newly-formed roads and bridges advisory committee. Commissioners then directed Hamm to no longer research for the committee.
  • Commissioners approved a request from the Chat and Dine Club for $650 to paint and replace boards at the lake out of the Parks and Lake budget. They also approved a high school work-study program and discussed IT options.
  • No action was taken following a 15 minute closed session to discuss acquisition of property.

Last modified Aug. 31, 2017