April 01, 2023

County, Arispe to formalize street exchange

By John Van Nostrand, CNA Managing Editor

County officials and Arispe City Council will clarify a proposal from 2018 to exchange responsibilities for certain streets.

During the Union County Board of Supervisors meeting Monday, Arispe council member Mike Rollings said, in 2018 Union County Development proposed for the county and Arispe to exchange Forbes and Dutcher streets for maintenance.

“We took Forbes, you take Dutcher so H-45 can go straight through Arispe.” Rollings said. Forbes is also known as Union County Road H-45 which extends beyond Arispe city limits.

“We had the public hearing. I assumed it was all done. We’ve been maintaining Forbes. We paid for slurry coat and also on East Street, block south to come down to Dutcher because that was part of the trade. We patched holes in the blacktop. The reason it started, I just wanted to know who was responsible for culverts and ditching on Dutcher, the city or county? That’s where this started from. I found out we don’t have anything.”

Union County Engineer Keith Wieland said the details are well noted including city council but there is no formal approval. “Just get this in black and white,” he said.

“I assumed it was,” Rollings said about formal agreements. “The city went forward assuming Forbes was ours. As a council person, I just want it writing.”

Supervisor Dennis Brown said he was informed by the previous county engineer Zach Gunsolley he was waiting for approval for every property owner on Dutcher before the approval was finalized. Rollings said not every property owner was contacted about the proposal. At the time, Rollings suggested to Gunsolley, he and council inform those people. Rollings said that never happened because of Gunsolley’s absence.

“Both parties need to be present to explain to the people what is going to take place,” Rollings said.

Rollings estimated 16 property owners would have to be notified.

“I’m sure there are going to be people against it,” Rollings said. “Not everybody was in favor of exchanging streets, but the majority was.”

Brown said the intent for the county is take ownership of Forbes.

“Obviously we never got that far,” said Supervisor Ron Riley. “That was one of those balls that got dropped.”

Wieland suggested to review those past notes and create a document on the plan. The plan would then be reviewed by Arispe City Council and the supervisors.

“Something needs to be in writing between the two entities,” Rollings said. “As a council person, it is something I want to know.”

In other county news…

Supervisors unanimously approved the agreement with the Teamsters Local Union No. 238. The agreement is for three years and a 3% pay increase in each of the three years, beginning with fiscal year 2022.

Wieland will research the intersection of Osage and Townline streets. The intersection is a three-way stop and area residents were concerned about traffic flow, knowing it was only a three-way stop. A flashing, traffic-warning sign at the intersection had been stolen.

“It carries a tremendous amount of traffic,” Riley said.

Riley is willing to have another public hearing about the creation of a solar-power ordinance. Public comments have been held in recent meetings. One of Riley’s interests are appropriate setbacks with non-participating landowners. Supervisors may also discuss next week strategy and possible legal action regarding littering in county ditches and what is nicknamed “mudding.” After heavy rains or snowmelt, people have driven at a high rate of speed through mud on certain sections of roads for entertainment. The driving manner eventually damages that portion of the road.

Supervisors said they will review if the county will observe Juneteenth in future years. The new federal holiday was approved by Congress and President Joe Biden last week and observed by some government entities across the country. The holiday is in honor of when slaves in Texas were the last to be told on June 19, 1865, of President Lincoln’s emancipation.

John Van Nostrand


An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.