Published On: Thu, Nov 21st, 2013

Landowner inquires about County Commission’s denial of his request

HARTINGTON — County officials fielded questions last week from a landowner about his denied request to install fence in the county right-of-way.

John Thelen, who lives three miles north of Randolph, talked to Cedar County Commissioners at their Nov. 12 meeting.

Commissioners first discussed Thelen’s request at a meeting in October.

In a letter to the Board, he said installing the fence temporarily from about June to October was necessary for his livestock operation.

The fence is used to keep the livestock from wandering as Thelen moves them from his homestead to the pasture through the ditch.

“I am here to appeal or ask for more clarification I guess,” Thelen said. “I have been doing it for a year and have not had any problems.”

County officials said in the past six months they have dealt with several instances where people either installed fence or planted crops in the county right-of-way.

District 3 Commissioner Dave McGregor said the county is working hard to regain control of it.

“I guess the thing is, John, across the board, we are trying to get everybody … out of that right-of-way,” McGregor said. “If we allow one person this right, then many more will likely ask, as well.”

And, just because one guy is doing it, doesn’t give the rest of the people the right, said Board President Terry Pinkelman.

County officials also said the bottom line is the issue of safety.

“We have the responsibility to see to it that it (the road)  is as safe as it can be,” McGregor said.

Next spring, the Board will begin contacting more people who are encroaching on the right-of-way.

Those who are in the right-of-way will be warned to remove their fence or crop.

If the person chooses not to comply, then the county will take action to correct the problem and then send that perso