When is a town road not really a town road?
Answer: When it’s unknowingly owned by the state for decades.
At Tuesday’s meeting of the town board, Woodruff supervisors discussed the official end point for Country Club Road and why the town believed it owned the road that extends into the town for longer than supervisors could recall.
According to chairman Mike Timmons, recent survey work in the town near where the road ends brought to light the fact that despite the town believing it owned the road, the state has actually been its owner.
“We’ve been blacktopping it and repairing it and receiving aid based on that ownership, but because of some kind of an ‘oops’ 30 or maybe 40 years ago it had been thought the road had been turned over to the town, but it had not,” Timmons said. “A majority of the road is in the town of Minocqua, but a small portion is in Woodruff. Everyone had been assuming that the paperwork had been done ... and was really owned by the town.”
The surveying work and the succeeding check of property records revealed the mistake in the official ownership for the small section of road.
A nearby property owner, Mark Millen, had proposed to the county that he purchase a 0.08 portion of the 0.16 pieces of property that was purchased decades ago for the road, but was never used. At the same time as the sale, the ownership of the road and related property that the town should officially own, will be properly recorded as being owned by Woodruff.
According to Timmons, Millen owns property south and west of the road.
Oneida County officials will have the final say on the land sale because they legally own the property not used for the road.
According to Timmons, once Millen gains ownership of the land at the end of Country Club Road there will be a provision included that would allow the town to construct a cul de sac at the road’s end to allow vehicles, such as snow plows, to turn around.
“It’s a very small piece of property and its all swamp and bogs, but he (Millen) wants it to round out where his property ends there,” Timmons said.
Supervisors said they saw no problem with the land being sold to Millen. At the same time they thought the sale will also help correct the true owner of the road within Woodruff.
“There will be a lot of paperwork to clear this up but it won’t cost the town any money,” Timmons said.
The only cost to the town would be further in the future when and if the town ever decides to construct the cul de sac at the road’s end.
Supervisors also agreed to place advertisements to seek bids for a new one-ton truck for the town which would include the chassis, box and plow.
Bids will be due March 12. The town may be able to receive about $9,000 as a trade-in for the old truck that the new one will replace.
Joe VanDeLaarschot may be reached at email@example.com.