Looking for a way out

By Grace Moore

Grace Moore photo
Boe Drive, one possible secondary egress route, ends near the town’s existing property.

Two roads are under discussion again as possible secondary egress routes for Pine Haven residents within those areas who currently have only one way out. The Pine Haven Council discussed options at last Tuesday’s work shop.

Boe Drive

Boe Drive is the easiest egress to complete because the dead end road already stops within yards of town property with existing easements; the problem, according to Mayor Larry Suchor, is that the town never pursued a deed when they bought the property from local rancher Skip Waters.

“The town has paid Skip for that property; why the town never requested the deed for it I don’t know. There was money for that easement; it should have been a roadway,” Suchor said.

“No matter what, it should be straightened out.”

The first part of putting the town’s plans into effect will be seeking a quick claim deed for the lot in question and, with the existing easement, Town Attorney Pat Carpenter will have the legal description to facilitate acquiring said document.

This process will raise the beginning cost of the endeavor to approximately $5000 by the council’s estimation, due to the fees for the attorney’s efforts as well as the work done by HDR Engineering to create a right of way across that lot. The council plans to apply for a grant to cover the rest of the work, but figures that the town may have to accept this initial cost itself.

White Tail Drive

White Tail Drive is a significantly more complex issue as the town will have to seek a right of way across lots owned by private citizens to extend the road from Big Buck Lane to Pine Haven Road near the air strip.

According to Suchor, the property, if made into an actual roadway, would have to be “annex[ed] into the city”. Part of the property the road would cross, however, belongs to Waters and he has agreed to donate the land for the roadway, but would not contribute any other funding to the endeavor, Suchor further explained.

Another option, opined Suchor, is to utilize dirt hauled in this winter to “make a way across to allow traffic an emergency lane.”

The town would seek a grant for the work for this egress as well, though with the changing climes at the state level, Suchor stated, “If we get the money, we get it; if we don’t we don’t; some day our time will come. I believe in this case, it’s classified as somewhat of an emergency, another way out…Keep applying and it will show up.” The mayor and Town Treasurer Barb Hardy fill out the SLIB grant applications, saving the town that cost.

Councilman John Henle disagreed with the plan to extend White Tail Drive at the anticipated initial cost equaling the approximate $5000, saying, “I just don’t think [that egress] would help us any.”

The mayor acknowledged again that “the town is going to have to bear that and that will not be recoverable. Money spent even if we never get it done”.

After further consideration, Councilman John Cook said, “If worse comes to worst, we can afford to do Boe Drive ourselves. The other one up there [White Tail] would take a lot of work, but Boe Drive would take a very small amount of work because you’ve got the thing running almost to our lot. We could get an emergency exit through there for not a lot of money.”

This was an observation with which Suchor and Henle agreed.

The follow-up on the quick claim deed transferring legal title and annexation of the lot needed to facilitate the completion of the Boe Drive egress and the acquisition of the title for the roadway land from Waters as the first move toward continuing White Tail Drive south and west to Pine Haven Road was approved at the special meeting that followed.