For a second week, Mitchell County Attorney Mark Walk was asked to comment on roadside ditch easements during a meeting of the Mitchell County Board of Supervisors.

The most recent question came when a property owner inquired as to whether hoses for piping liquid manure could be rerouted at the request of a landowner, whose property adjoined a secondary road.

Walk again said most secondary roads were purchased as easements and he believes, though the easement reads the county has a right to place a road, maintain and control weeds, water flow and remove obstructions from the ditch, the adjoining landowner still has the right to curtail other activities that occur in the ditch.

One concern is the placement of temporary lines, which can block field driveways, specifically, who is liable should a leak occur? Walk said since the lines are run in a ditch, where there is an easement, the county has little authority in the matter. In addition, he said these questions should be left to the landowner and the farmer or company applying the manure.

Both Walk and Mitchell County Engineer Rich Brumm said they favored the piping systems, because it kept heavy equipment from tearing up roads.

In regards to county roads, Mitchell County Supervisor Steve Smolik showed Brumm samples of large rock a resident had gathered from a secondary road.

Brumm said he had seen several incidents of these large rocks this year. He said some of the problem was due to the large rock being used to fill soft boils in roads. Brumm said the rock later moves back near the road’s surface and maintainers dislodge it. He acknowledged the problem and said the county was working to fix it, when it occurs.

In other business, Smolik and Mitchel County Supervisor Barb Francis approved the low bid of $149,700 from Kingland Construction Company of Forest City for the remodeling of the county services building.

The project will add private office space, improve heating and cooling options for individual offices and new carpet. The starting date for the project is the beginning of January with a completion date of April 15, 2020.

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