Speaking on behalf of about a dozen residents who live along or at the crossing of the gravel road, Delores Flukiger of Alamo spoke to the Board of Highway Commissioners at their Feb. 2 meeting.
She was asking that the county do a chip seal project on the road. She said in the spring of 2014, “the county very kindly opened up Ranch Road for access. Before that, everyone was coming across our property.”
“Now, however,” she said, “the residents of Ranch Road are smothered in dust in the summer. In October and November, we submitted a request, and everybody signed it, to have a surface put on it similar to Sierra Vista, which goes down to the graveyard (Alamo Cemetery).”
The Road Department then placed traffic counter strips on the road, which is only about a quarter mile long, and she thought the results had been given to the Board of County Commissioners. Board chair Paul Donohue said the two-week study period showed 273 vehicles had used the road.
Flukiger said she was at the meeting to ask the Highway Board to consider, based on the results of that test, “to resurface that road.”
She mentioned that the home of Dave Highbe has had its kitchen window, and a new family vehicle, chipped by flying rocks from cars or pickups going up and down the road.
“In the summer, it’s like a dust bowl and flying pebbles, as well,” Flukiger said. “Mrs. Highbe has said she can hear things banging off the side of the house.”
Road Department Supervisor Shane Cheeney said Ranch Road was closed for a long time, and people had to go through a gate on the Flukiger property in order to get to their homes. Opening Ranch Road eliminated the need for most residents to have to open and close the gate at the Flukiger’s.
Cheeney admitted Ranch Road has never been surfaced with Type 2, “because we never maintained it.”
Flukiger said the residents of that area are in the Alamo Water District, but are not in the sewer district, “We don’t pay the same amount of taxes to Alamo as someone who lives within the town limits, so we have always dealt with the County about the road.
Commissioners thought that since it was a road in Alamo, they referred the item to the Alamo Town board.
And at the Alamo Town Board meeting Feb. 4, they decided to refer the matter back to the Commissioners, since it is a matter involving a County road.
Town board member Vern Holaday said they decided to put Ranch Road on a list of projects they had been asked to recommend for work to the County Road Department, and it may be addressed in the next Highway Commission board meeting Feb. 16 to see where the request might fit on the list of priorities for the Road Department to consider for the Alamo area.