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Opinion

Those who damage road should pay for repair

damage responsibility As residents of the Ring Hill neighborhood, we have been happy with our rural lifestyle. Last fall, our neighborhood finally began to change.
   As the Lake of the Woods East Development started, we became the recipients of hundreds of truckloads in and out of our once-peaceful road.
   I'm not suggesting that progress and or development is bad. What I have come to find out through countless phone calls to county and development employees is that the system is sorely lacking.
   Specifically, when a developer builds in a rural rea and uses, or in this case abuses, a county road, they are not asked to pay any type of deposit or bond to cover damage to a public road.
   The second and third phases of this development are imminent. Now is our opportunity to demand that a damage deposit ordinance be established. Unfortunately, the county cannot enforce an ordinance that does not exist.
   Therefore, if we want developments and their owners to be culpable, rather than the taxpayer, we should all make our opinions known by contacting our county council member. In this case a very dedicated lady, Monica Clark with Rep. Miller's office, is spearheading a property study of the situation. She can be reached at 296-0397.
   We have all been concerned about the dangerous situation the high-speed antics of the truckers caused; we are now in possession of a road with band-aid patches to remind us daily of the effects of progress. The county promised me that in 1997, our road would receive a full overlay and that the patches were their best option until that time.
   I fully respect the maintenance managers and staff--they are doing the best they can with budgets and crews. Their hands are tied by the fact that no laws are in place to ensure that development would be held accountable for their share of damages to what was a very adequate rural-designated road.
   Let's get together on this, call our council representative, make our collective voices heard, and get the County Development Services group to adopt proper guidelines to ensure that this runaway situation gets under control.

Mark T. Glass, Ring Hill