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Residents Continue To Express Concerns Over Trail To Supervisors

By Staff | Sep 29, 2009

Palo Alto County Supervisors heard comments from a landowner on Five Island Lake regarding the proposed Five Island Recreational Trail during their Tuesday session on Sept. 22. The board members were also updated on various activities in the county’s Emergency Management Office by director Mark Hunefeld.

While nothing pertaining to the Five Island Trail appeared on the supervisors’ agenda, Gary Frink, Tim Siemers and Sharon Roberts appeared at the meeting. When asked if they wished to address the board, some comments were offered.

“I wondered if it was possible if you guys could stop them from any more destruction on our lakeshore until this is settled,” Gary Frink asked.

“Have you seen more work out there?” Board Chairman Ed Noonan asked Frink.

“No, I mean from doing anything else until this thing is settled, at least,” Frink replied.

“They are not doing any more work out there right now,” Supervisor Jerry Hofstad noted.

“We’ve told the engineer not to do any more work out there, the trails committee, on the right of way,” Noonan said. “We can’t stop them if its not in our right of way.”

Frink continued, “In 1912, the Attorney General of Iowa, his name was Rinley, made some kind of declaration that you can not change the lakeshore on any state lake. I have no research on this, but I thought that was something you should investigate a little bit before you let them go building up on the side of the road out there with dirt and planks and stuff because it will change the lake shore.”

“When you own property, you own to the high-water mark,” Noonan observed.

Frink re-iterated that he wanted the supervisors to order that no more work be done, especially on the gravel road north of the outlet, as he wanted to see that left alone for fishermen. Again, Noonan assured Frink that no work is being done in any of the county’s right of way.

Sharon Roberts, a land owner on the gravel extension of Lakeshore Drive, east of the trestle, spoke to the board briefly about her concerns over the proposed recreational trail along Lakeshore Drive, pointing out that the proposed starting point is in close proximity to her property, which actually extends to the lakeshore, north from her home, and Lakeshore Drive actually runs through the property.

“When my husband and I moved here three years ago, we bought a way of life,” Roberts said. “We bought the property for the space and for the view of the lake. Since then, the railroad has taken away our driveway, and now the trail could have people parking in front of our house on the road, in our view of the lake.”

Roberts continued, “My husband and I like the idea of a trail, but please, go somewhere else with it. We have given up every right we have, and if that’s going to be the case for the trail, then thanks, but no thanks. People keep moving in on us. We’ve been kicked off our own dock before by people we don’t even know, and that’s not why we bought our property.”

“We understand your concern,” Supervisor Jerry Hofstad told Roberts, “but we have one problem – you’re in the city limits, and we have no jurisdiction on this”, as the discussion concluded with a reminder of the community meeting on the trail on Sept. 24.