Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

Park board welcomes help with roads


The Hill County Park Board Monday told a cabin owner on Beaver Creek Park that the board would welcome cabin owners helping improve and maintain the roads on the park, with some guidance by the superintendent and the board, if necessary.

"Let me just say this: We're not opposed to you helping us out, " board Chair Steve Mariani told cabin owner Brad Ruhkamp. "We don't have a lot of funds to do the cabin roads. "

Ruhkamp said he just wanted to know what cabin owners could do to keep the roads passable. He said the owner of a neighboring cabin told him she had gotten permission to work on the road, then the board reversed itself and said she couldn't.

"What I'd like to know is, what can I do with that road? " Ruhkamp asked the board members. "What are my limitations on what I can do with the road? It's getting impassable. "

Several board members said they don't recall that cabin owner ever being told she couldn't work on the road — they did add that the park does not have access to the county Road and Bridge Department's supply of gravel, and that may have caused some confusion.

Mariani said the park staff members do what they can on limited funds to work on the park roads to cabins and campsites, which are separate from the county roads maintained by the road department.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved funds for fixing some of the roads severely damaged in the floods of 2010 and 2011, but much more work needs to be done, he added.

Board members said park Superintendent Chad Edgar should be contacted before cabin owners start road work.

Board member Mike Wendland, also chair of the Hill County Commission, said he only has one concern. After the flooding in the last few years, cabin owners approached the board and the park board agreed with their plan to work on a road to some cabins, he said.

"They came in and fixed the road and the plan wasn't followed at all, " Wendland said. "Those are the kinds of things that sour the board and sour the public (from this kind of work). "

Ruhkamp said the cabin owners would do the road projects the way the board wants them done.

"We want to do it right, " Ruhkamp said. "We don't want it to be a mess up there, we just need to be able to get in there. "

Board member Robbie Lucke said coordinating projects with Edgar should prevent any issues from arising.

"Work closely with Chad, " Lucke said, "That way, you don't have the problems, and if he thinks it's a big deal he can come back to us.

"I don't think it will be a big deal, " Lucke added.


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