Friday, March 26, 2010

water is, as water does pt.1

One of the greatest obstacles we have faced here has been water. We are contemplating installing a couple of ponds ( when we have the money) just to slow down how fast it sweeps across the property. Then there are issues with the road, specifically water and the road. We are on what is called here, a "B" surface road. It receives minimal care from the county and there is only gravel on the first quarter of a mile. According to the county road regulations water cannot run down my driveway onto the road, but they don't have to take care of the road to the extent that water doesn't run down or across it. Our drive comes out in the valley of the road and as the water was taking the path of least resistance, which water does, the valley of the road was something of a pond.

A neighbor complained, as neighbors do. The county road engineer came out to "inspect my building project" I don't know why, it wasn't his jurisdiction, but in small rural areas talking with people, being decent and just rolling with the punches is the way everyone gets along. So, I let him inspect. He said there was a complaint. He gave me my instructions that no water from my property was to run into the road. So, I told him we should go down and have a good look at the drive. We walked the drive. I showed him where I had hand dug a ditch on the uphill side of the drive over a distance of approximately four hundred feet. I showed him where the water from my property came out into the road ditch, NOT on the road.

Then the good part, I walked over another five feet from the ditch to the center of the road. I pointed to the west and said, "Look right there, see that furrow? That is where the water just tears down the road and puddles here." Then I pointed to the east, "See over there where the ditch isn't properly cut, " That's where it overflows and then flows here and puddles. Tell the neighbor lady not to worry. As soon as I get a few more things done I will turn my attention to the road. I used to work for D.O.T. and I know what needs to be done."

This got to him. (which was kind of fun) That was when I heard the other side of the regulations. The side that said how the county didn't have to be responsible for water flowing OVER the road. I told him to not worry, if the county couldn't afford to take care of the road, I would. "But you can't", he said, "you're a resident."

"That's okay, I don't mind"

"But the road is the responsibility of the county"

"But the county doesn't want to be responsible. I think I'll get some gravel down here ,too. that'll help."

"Well, if you want to put down gravel you'll have to go to the supervisors meeting and request permission and then you can't do anything until you get a reply"

"How about I just buy my gravel from the county and one of your boys put it down. Would you be happy with that?"

"You aren't going to save any money by buying gravel from the county. It's not like the quarries give us that much of a break"

I think the look of disbelief was pretty evident on my face, because he felt a need to bring it up a notch. "People who mess with county property could go to jail"


A couple of days later my gravel guy was here. "So Bob, have you ever heard of anyone going to jail for putting gravel on their road?"

"Who the hell ever told you that?"

"County engineer was here the other day. Said I had to request permission to put rock on the road and if I didn't I could end up in jail"

"That lazy s*% of a B@#*&. I've had more go rounds with that b*&%@#%........."

Well, lets just say that the monologue went on for awhile. And then I asked him to put a part of my load down on the road cause it was getting so bad that I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get out.

Then in a total mood of civil disobedience, I went out and cleaned out the ditch. I pulled out what downed limbs I could handle, cleaned out leaf piles and dug deeper where necessary. This spring was the first time that snow and rain hasn't flooded out of the ditch and into the road. I'm feeling quite pleased with myself. And I haven't even spent a night in jail.....yet.


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