ROCK RAPIDS—Lyon County is giving up on a small stretch of rural road and handing it over to a family farm that owns property on each side.
A half mile of what used to be a gravel stretch of Eagle Avenue, located midway between Alvord and Lester, is officially in the purview of Mogler Farms after the Lyon County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Sept. 28 to vacate it.
Mogler Farms is located two miles south of Lester on Dove Avenue. Eagle Avenue is a mile east of Dove Avenue. The part being abandoned is the northern half mile between 170th and 180th streets.
There is not much left of the road because the farm tore up the material and moved it, something that frustrated the county and what road superintendent Dave Jackson called “stealing.”
But the county is putting the issue behind it. Lyon County engineer Daryl Albertson admitted the lightly-traveled road is a low priority for his office and recommended the county vacate the half mile. He explained that as long as the county maintains its claim on the road, it is liable for anything that happens on the severely unkempt path.
By vacating the road, Lyon County disavows the property and folds it into the surrounding private lots.
The other issue at play is the bridge over Mud Creek halfway between 170th and 180th streets. The vacated area includes and ends at the bridge.
The bridge has been closed for several years and is not safe for vehicle travel. Part of the vacation deal is for Mogler Farms to take down the bridge and return the material to the county.
Brian Mogler attended the meeting on behalf of his family’s farm. He said “we got the cart in front of the horse a couple times,” but he wants to cooperate with “initiative” in the future.
“If they wanted to haul the portion of the road back out to use on your other roads for building up, we’ll continue to work,” Mogler said.
Albertson said Sept. 14 that the county should plan to eventually vacate all of Eagle Avenue between 170th and 180th, but it should hold off until the engineer’s office can remove the gravel to use on other secondary roads. He repeated that plan at the Sept. 28 meeting.
“We’d like some of the material to build up some of the intersections that are close there. That’s a short haul for us,” Albertson said.
He added that it will be productive in the long term not to have to deal with the rarely-used part of the avenue; he only wished the agreement could have been reached more cordially.
Lyon County recently made another move to acquire more material for its rural pathways, albeit a more steady income of rocky road. In July, the supervisors purchased a gravel pit near Inwood using public revenue from the Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort located on the Iowa side of the state line with South Dakota.