The Dallas County Board of Supervisors met in its regularly-scheduled meeting in Adel on Tuesday, Oct. 31. During this meeting, the board, along with County Engineer, Al Miller, held a discussion and public hearing about the possibility of vacating 338th Court, on the boarder of Adel and Waukee, south of Interstate 80.
The land south of 338th Court was recently annexed into the City of Waukee. The vacation of the road could leave residents of the homestead at the end of that road in a tough situation.
“Currently the county maintains that road and, sometimes, in the winter the drifts get six-feet high,” said Hugh Stone, who lives at the homestead at the end of the road. “I don’t have equipment to plow that road out. All I’ve got is a little Chevy pickup truck with a tiny little blade on it.
“If this vacation takes place, our life will be made very, very difficult. There will be days that we are not able to get to our jobs because the county is no longer maintaining that road.”
Stone said that he did not receive any notice about the annexation before it happened and did not receive any notice that the county was considering vacating the road until Thursday, Oct. 26, just five days before Tuesday’s meeting.
Dallas County Engineer, Al Miller, said that according to the Iowa State Code, a city usually has to annex to the center point of any roads on the border of their annexation, but because of the way the easement is set up with that road, it could not be done that way this time. The land south of 338th Court, which was annexed into Waukee is owned by Ruan Inc., while the land to the north, which was not is owned by Thompson Holdings LLC.
“It’s a little bit unique in that this county road easement lies north of the section line, so none of the Ruan property,” Miller said. “Typically it would be split. Ruan property would be down the center line of the road. This particular road easement is not set up that way. The underlying title holders are the folks at the top, which I think caused some confusion with the City of Waukee when they were going through the annexation process.”
Miller suggested to options to the Board of Supervisors. Either to write a letter to the Waukee City Development Board, requesting that the annexation go to the center line, which the code allows for, or vacate the road.
A representative from Ruan Inc. was at the meeting also said that Ruan Inc. would be opposed to that road being vacated and would not have expected services to the road to be cut off as a result of the annexation.
The land owned by Thompson Holdings LLC is being farmed, and all parties involved agreed that it would be okay for the county to vacate the part of the road that goes into that farm, but regarding the rest of the road, the public hearing was left open and recessed and will be picked back up on Nov. 28.