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County still enforcing right-of-way rules

Efforts to ensure that landowners obey right-of-way restrictions along county roads have been successful so far, and will continue, the Stutsman County Commission learned Tuesday.

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“Compliance was excellent. Out of 190 in violation now, I probably have about a dozen in violation,” said Commissioner Dave Schwartz. And most of those, he added, were not on the initial list of people in violation.

Anyone who has received the first warning letter from the county will receive one more letter stating that if he or she does not comply with right-of-way restrictions by June 15, he or she will likely be fined.

People who haven’t received that first warning letter yet will be sent that one instead and people who haven’t done enough weed control on their rights-of-way will receive a specific letter regarding that issue.

Schwartz and the county have been working with landowners on the right-of-way issue since February 2012.

Depending on when the road was built and on subsequent work, rights of way can be from 50 to 75 feet from the center of the road on either side. Because of the variation, many landowners simply aren’t aware they’re infringing on the right-of-way.

Within the right-of-way boundaries, land can’t be cropped and weed control has to be performed.

If a property owner chooses to infringe on the right-of-way, the county is permitted to destroy the crops and reseed it as a ditch.

In other news Tuesday, the commission:

* accepted a $1.4 million bid for a 9.245-mile road work project for Stutsman County Road 68 north of Interstate 94 near Medina, N.D.

* agreed that Stutsman County Road 40, near Spiritwood, N.D., will have an 80,000-pound weight limit and an 8-ton axle limit, which will be brought down to a 6-ton axle limit in the spring.

* authorized the purchase of a replacement copy machine for the Stutsman County Correctional Center for $5,050.

Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453 or by email at klucin@