Commissioners seek solutions to land issues

© 2017-Lingle Guide

Goshen County Commission

TORRINGTON – In addition to usual monthly business, during their first July meeting Wednesday morning, the Goshen County Commissioners continued efforts to settle two situations that have required their attention for several months.
Land owners Doug and Cindy Jackson of Fort Laramie,  and Mary Jane Woods, also of Fort Laramie, and representing the Pine Ridge Homeowners Association, explained the latest problem pertaining to access to the Jacksons’ property adjoining the Pine Ridge housing development north of Fort Laramie.
Currently, access to the Jackson’s land is available only by a road that runs through the Association’s rural residential area.  At issue is access to that road.
It is a direct route to the Jackson land, but crosses the Association’s property, and the business wants to protect the area from full public access.
This is not the first time the two parties have met with the commissioners.
“Every time we think we have it figured out, there’s something else,” Commission Chairman Carl Rupp said.
Goshen County Deputy County Attorney Dana Lent did resolve one of issues when she assured the Jacksons the property can’t be landlocked. In this case, an alternative route might be longer and not as convenient, but the law guarantees property owners access to their own land.
One alternative route would take travelers through a neighboring school section. The public road receives little or no maintenance, and has been vacated, but not abandoned, because of its isolation and lack of use. The road also adds a considerable distance to travel.
The Jacksons’ concerns increased when recently they were told the shorter route, outside of the Pine Ridge addition, was going to be closed.
Doug Jackson emphasized that resolution of the issues is absolutely necessary in order to protect the value of the isolated property.
“We need a permanent solution,” Commissioner Wally Wolski agreed. Following Wednesday’s lengthy discussion, one might be in sight.
Concluding Wednesday’s meeting the commissioners, Lent, Val Hankins of the Goshen County Road and Bridge Department, the Jacksons and Woods agreed to meet with other interested parties in the Commissioners Room the afternoon of Aug. 1 to find a permanent solution.
The second on-going situation is the ownership and maintenance of the Adam Walter Botanical Park in South Torrington. The small property is across Highway 85 from Western Sugar. LaDonna Fegler, representing the South Torrington Water and Sewer District, asked the commissioners to help finalize the small park’s future.
Union Pacific Railroad agreed to sell the park for $1,000.
Fegler said several businesses and individuals donated the money: Colorado residents Kurt and Kim Evezich; Kelly Matlock, Sunrise Sprinkler Repair; Geraldine Lira; Gary Olson, Torrington; Lira’s Restaurant, Inc., Lingle; and Simplot AP Shared Services, Boise, Idaho.
She also listed Cliff Hickman of South Torrington for his donation of time every week to mow the park.
It was explained that the donation will be transferred to the county, which will use it to purchase the land. The South Torrington Water and Sewer District has been involved in the negotiations, helping collaborate progress.
A legal agreement between the entities, including the STWSD, will protect the county from liability issues regarding the park.
In other business, commissioners appointed Denise Jackson and Terry Haines to the Goshen County Library Board.
A vacancy still exists on the Goshen County Planning Commission. Anyone interested in the position should contact the Goshen County Clerk’s Office, 307-532-4051.

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