School road stymied
July 25, 2019
After several discussions with Superintendent Mark Broderson and the school district’s engineering firm, the Moorcroft Town Council agreed to take responsibility for an access road the Crook County School District #1 plans to build from Rail Road Avenue to Country Lane under the condition that the school follow the town ordinances governing public streets.
Within weeks of this approval, however, problems have arisen regarding the agreement, as Mayor Dick Claar explained at Monday’s meeting of the governing body. The town paid the initial $600 application fee to request approval to access the railroad’s right of way to reach the southern point of said roadway with the understanding that the district will reimburse the town, but when the mayor read the lease agreement that stated that the town would be responsible for an annual payment of $1800, Claar did not feel it was appropriate to make this a hardship on Moorcroft citizens and contacted Broderson.
“I told him I thought we needed to have a contract that [the school district] would pay the lease every year,” he said.
The school is currently seeking other options, one being to move the access point to curve around the parking lot to join with South Little Horn behind the bleachers on the south side of the football field; this plan though, was previously discarded due to no resolution being found with the neighboring landowner.
The district is also asking that the town forego the ordinance and accept a road simply covered with gravel. Claar adamantly refuses this idea.
“I am not in favor of doing gravel, we did that once out here and we’re paying the price for that,” he said. “We won’t accept a gravel road, if they want it on their own, they will have to take care of it.”
His fellows, when asked their opinion, agreed.
The mayor had advocated this endeavor earlier; however with more information available, stated, “I’m all in favor of this if the school is going to pay all the costs, but it doesn’t benefit Moorcroft per se and if it’s going to cost the citizens of Moorcroft, we’re not willing to undertake that.”