The attorney for one couple living along White Cap Road last Tuesday made one thing clear to the Buena Vista County Board of Supervisors.
His clients might be willing to give up 16 feet of their property to the road that has meandered from its right of way onto their lot over the years. But they don't want to give in without some resolution of encroachment by properties along the road's northern edge.
Dan Connell, attorney for Dale and Deb Wordekemper, recalled an earlier proposal in which the Wordekempers and Bill Lanphere, the Wordekempers' neighbor and Vice Chair of the Board of Supervisors, were willing to deed the north 16 feet of their property if the county would seal coat the road. In a matter related to the actual placement of the right of way of the road, Connell said Laird Cruzen had marked and staked a lot he owns along White Cap Road, offering "the clearest piece of evidence for existence of this road."
Over the years, trees, bushes, utility poles, and even structures have encroached on the north end of White Cap Road to the point that some are in the middle of the actual right of way. The position of the Wordekempers and Connell was why should they give something up while the neighbors to the north would reap the benefit.
"The people that are going to benefit from this are the people on the north side of the street," Connell said.
Wordekemper expressed his frustration, saying, "A year has gone by again with no action."
City Engineer Jon Ites offered equal frustration in dealing with the road issue.
"The road is there now by adverse possession," Ites said. He said a major problem was putting an adequate turning radius on the northwest corner of the road.
"What have we been doing in the last year," said Connell.
"I have to know someplace where I'm going to put the road," Ites said.
"We can't give you a deed until we know what you want and what you're taking," Connell said.
"I've always said we are willing to give that 16 feet back on the north side" in exchange for a 16-foot alley vacated by the county earlier, Wordekemper said.
"We want to know what the finished product is going to look like when it's done," Connell said of the county seal-coating. He said he and the Wordekempers also wanted to know what the county intended to do regarding the matter of the encroaching properties to the north.
Auditor Karen Strawn read an earlier resolution by the county which was to square the corner of White Cap Road to the west and move the road as far to the north as possible.
Connell said if the Wordekempers gave up the north 16 feet of their property they would need a legal description and description of what the finished road would look like.
Ites said he needed to know how much property he would have to work with in reconfiguring White Cap Road and that some utilities could not be moved.
"They can be moved," Deb Wordekemper said. "I talked to Mid-American."
Wordekemper stood by the 16 feet of his property that he was willing to give up. "No more than that. No less," he said.
Lanphere suggested to Ites that available property be used for a 20-foot road realignment. Lanphere said the road alignment could then be matched with the property lines after they have been been dedicated.
Connell and Ites encapsulated the road controversy in their final statements.
"You tell us what you have in mind," Connell said.
"I can't do a construction project until I have a right of way to build it on," said Ites.