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Richland (copy)

Colfax County commissioners instructed County Attorney Denise Kracl and Sheriff Paul Kruse to begin ticketing a Richland business, Vollbracht Inc., for placing rusting hulks of farm equipment on a public road on the northwest edge of the community.

Jim Osborn, Lee Enterprises

A Richland business better be quick to begin moving some rusting farm relics parked illegally along an asphalt road on the northwest edge of the village or be ready to open up the company pocketbook to pay up.

“This has gone on long enough,” Colfax County Commissioner Jeff Bauman said during last week's board meeting while citing four months of foot-dragging by Vollbracht Inc. since the business was ordered to move the obsolete farm equipment and other debris.

“The next step is to cite them for the violations,” Bauman said.

Colfax County Attorney Denise Kracl told board members Sheriff Paul Kruse has attempted to contact the business about the county’s intentions but has not issued citations yet.

The obsolete grain-drying equipment and other farm relics have been parked for years along the less than one-mile strip of pavement that was an old stretch of U.S. Highway 30 before its expansion to four lanes from Columbus to Schuyler.

Some of the equipment, which is on both sides of the road, was shifted off the pavement but remains within the county’s 64-foot right of way, measured 32 feet in each direction from the centerline.

With fall harvest fast approaching, Bauman said the illegal parking poses a continuing safety hazard for farmers crossing the road to gain access to fields and other motorists who use the road.

Vollbracht does not get to use the roadway or right of way as its private parking, he said.

“Let’s cost them money (for moving and storage) ... let’s follow through,” Commissioner Jerry Heard said.

In May, Kracl asked Kruse to begin issuing citations for violations of the state law that prohibits anyone from “depositing wood, stone or any other material on any part of any lawful public road in the state.”

Kracl said the business owner, who has a Wayne mailing address, was notified of the county’s actions.



Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

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