Havre Daily News
The Hill County commissioners took three men to task Tuesday for failing to obtain permission before laying a pipeline under a county right of way.
Before digging or building on or near a county right of way, the county requires builders to submit a right of way encroachment form for review.
The commissioners were contacted recently by a landowner who told them of a builder who failed to get permission before digging, commissioner Doug Kaercher said Tuesday. Kaercher said it was the most egregious violation he has seen as commissioner.
An half-mile section of Encore Operating pipeline was buried under a section line road north of Kremlin, Commissioner Kathy Bessette said.
A representative from Encore and representatives from two other companies that worked on the pipeline were in the commissioners' office Tuesday to discuss the problem.
"(County road superintendnet Jerry Otto) wouldn't have signed off on this," Bessette told the three men.
The commissioners wanted to know why the violation happened.
Brooks Boedecker, president of Front Range Resources, which obtained the easements from landowners for the project, explained that the locations of a lake and a spring meant there were no other options.
The commissioners said they will discuss the matter with Hill County Attorney Cyndee Peterson and consider a few options, including having the company remove the pipeline and the possible alternative of having the company agree to take responsibility for any liability associated with the pipeline.
Even if the pipeline is not removed now, it may be removed later, Kaercher said.
"If we come along there now and want to improve that road, we've got a pipeline there," he said.