A patch of road in Monroe may be abandoned thanks to a series of zig-zagging power poles.
Gleason Road #336 and Dry Creek Valley Road #50 could be adjusted after a Monroe resident told the Platte County Board of Supervisors Tuesday that power poles belonging to Cornhusker Public Power District needed to be straightened out. Jerry Gleason told the board that getting vehicles onto his farm was a problem thanks to poor planning of the poles by CPPD.
“The poles are in between the road and there isn’t enough room to get a planter in there,” Gleason said. “It’s a pretty big pain for our operation.”
The township of Monroe sent a letter to the board on May 3 asking it to abandon the right of way to the road. After more than a month of research, a report was given to the board on June 3, which recommended that the board take steps to abandon the road.
The road itself is relatively short, about 300 yards and is a dead-end road leading to the Loup Power Canal. Maintenance of the road has been almost non-existent; no one has taken care of the road in 25-30 years. People like Gleason have taken to farming on the road, providing an extra level of difficulty due to the crooked nature of the poles.
“It’s been farmed,” said Bob Lloyd, supervisor for District 5. “Cornhusker Public Power, they’re the ones that went in front of the township and asked them to close it because they wanted to straighten their (power) lines out. Their lines jot over, (so for) Jerry Gleason, it would make his farm a lot straighter. That way, you don’t have to jot around a pole.”
Due to the farming of the road, no one has bothered to actually close it in order for CPPD to fix the lines. The difficulty of driving on the road also plays a key role in the lack of maintenance, as one would probably take a good deal of time attempting to make the road safe to drive on.
“It’s difficult to maintain it and difficult for the farmers to farm on it,” Lloyd said.
Response to the potential abandonment has been unanimous across the board: they want to see the lines fixed in order to make the land safer for farming. Cornhusker Public Power has plans to fix the lines at a later date.
The board will vote on the proposal at its July 23 meeting. A motion to move forward with the abandonment was approved at Tuesday’s board meeting.
In other board news:
*An addition will be added to T & K’s Pit Stop outside of Columbus. The board unanimously approved a plan to add 50-60 seats to the bar, in addition to an expansion of the building’s liquor license. Co-owner Chelsea Kallenbach told the board that she bought the building opposite the current structure after March’s flooding emptied what was left of the inside. Her case was referred to the board after going through the traditional process of the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission.
*Three groups had utility permits approved by the board, while a fourth was referred to the Road-Bridge, Weed & Drainage Committee. Dwight Loseke, Great Plains Communications and Pillen Family Farms each had proposals for permits approved. A proposal by Michael Wegener to build a retention pond will be reviewed by the committee for feasibility and legality.
Zach Roth is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.