County attempting to keep road rights-of-way clear

Jackson County officials want to remind property owners that it’s illegal to plant crops, install electrical fences and place other items in road rights-of-way.

Letters are now being sent to some landowners where this has become an issue, according to Scott Kieffaber, public works director. Those landowners are being asked to meet with Kieffaber and the commissioners in person to discuss correcting the issues.

“People don’t care,” Kieffaber said. “The county has a right-of-way of 145 feet on these roads near Delia. Some people think it’s smaller than that.”

There is a two-mile section on 106th Road near Delia where the county right-of-way is 145 feet wide, but in most other instances in the county, the right-of-way is between 30 to 60 feet wide, with each easement different, county officials say.

Kieffaber said that while landowners do own to the center of the road, they don’t pay taxes on it. 

“It’s the county’s right-of-way for us to do whatever we need to do to get the water off the road,” he said. “When we have these big torrential rains that we’ve had, it’s no surprise that the roads are washing because there’s no ditch.”

Kansas statute 68-115 states that “counties and townships shall keep road rights-of-way in repair and shall remove or cause to be removed all obstructions that may be found therein.” There are several other statutes dealing with obstructions in the right-of-way.

“Some people are also putting drain tiles in and running them off into the ditch. There’s supposed to be a berm between the ditch and their property for a waterway,” he said. 

Kieffaber said that the ditches can’t handle the extra run-off from tiles and terraces. 

“We’re asking for the public’s help. We’re trying to get these roads open back up because they haven’t been ditched in years. So when we do it, we’re trying to do it right, but we’re running into these types of situations.”

Obstructions in the county rights-of-way can create delays and additional work for road and bridge crews, he said.

For more on this and other stories, please log in to your account and select “July 3, 2024” under “E-Editions.”

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141


Sign Up For Breaking News

Stay informed on our latest news!

Manage my subscriptions

Subscribe to Greer Citizen newsletter feed