26 SEPT 2015

Dearborn Landowners Association

Fall Meeting

9/26/2015  @ Fire Hall

24 Landowners signed in

Jim Beck opened the meeting at 10:05

There were no minutes from the Spring Meeting to approve.

Paul Johnson: Livestock inspector from the Dept. of Livestock was introduced.  Paul gave his contact information.  Issues of Sabrina's horses running at large were discussed.  Paul needs a complaint to do anything about this and said to text him a picture of a horse that is trespassing and the location.   Dearborn Meadows is in a Herd District, meaning if you have a horses or cattle, you have to contain these animals on land you own, i.e. fenced in.  If he gets a picture text, he will do a quick response to find the location.  However, he will not come in unless he hears from someone.  Has a large district, so this is not an area he “ just comes into”.  Cooper is not in a Herd District, however they are trying to annex in.  If an animal breaks through a fence or is on land illegally, the owner can be held liable for damages.  Paul told Sabrina that she didn't need 14 horses and suggested she reduce her herd to 3-4 horses.  Paul says that on the first two visits he tries to use friendly approach to remedy the issues.  If the issues persist, then he tickets.  Average fine is $180/5 head.  The Dept. of Livestock is one of the oldest and most powerful agencies in the State, however he doesn't enforce it.  He could write a ticket to someone riding through private property without permission.   Paul does not enforce covenants. 

Road issues were discussed.  The road section going through Lewis and Clark County is deeded to L&C County.  In Cascade, property lines of each individual property are in the middle of the roadway and there is a 60' right of way for the road.  We have extensive rain damage on the roadways.

Jim thanked everyone that donated time and equipment to work on the road.   We may have overstepped property boundaries a couple of times however a lot have gotten repaired.  CJ in particular donated a lot of his time & equipment, Dick Fry donated use of equipment, and Mark Smith worked on Sarge’s hill.  Phil came in with road base, 4 loads for $1,680.  Paul Amos from Wolf Creek may not have the right equipment but is willing to come out.  He charges $85/hr for his machines and fuel.  Rick Gates in Cascade also has some road base material.  Scott says he has thousands of yards of good soil/ gravel and we can use all we need.  DEQ says that if we have a gravel pit of over 3000 yds, we would need a permit.  Andy Thorenson, (pres. Of Cooper Assn) does road work over there and offered to work on the roads for fuel cost and $400 for a Liability Insurance Policy to cover road workers.  Their equipment belongs to the church group in Cooper Estates.  Andy is a land surveyor and knows roads. 

Motion:  To pay $400 for Liability Insurance/yr. 

Motion 2nd and all in favor.  None opposed. 

Several landowners with property adjacent or in the vicinity of the Interstate have donated approximately $3000 to the Landowners Assn., although they are not members of the Assn.  It would be nice if everyone was part of the association as one community.  Most of the donations come from owners in the lower parts of the Dearborn Meadows Assn.

Roadway use requires common sense.  We cannot use the 60' easement measure exclusively due to the lay of the land and rocks.  Speed on the road way is an issue, as people need to slow down.  Concern was expressed about road cuts where there are no guardrails.  Several owners have seen a lot of road hunting and asked why we allow any hunting in the Dearborn.  CJ commented on the importance of clearing trees from the roadway for driving access. 

Mail:  Discussed getting a PO Box in Cascade, or getting a box near the fishing lodge at bottom of the hill at the Dearborn exit.  We would need an address to use, possibly use the fire hall address if fire board approves. 

Gates:  Anyone can gate their own property, however to gate the roadways is an issue that the Montana Supreme Court put to rest on Nov. 13, 2014.   All landowners have a right to access the river.  The public in general does not have that right.  We discussed creating a new road sign to keep people out that are not landowners.  The problem has been the ATV groups.  Sieben ranch has closed off all their land with locked gates and offer access only with written permission.

Motion: to make an additional sign for entrance to the Dearborn Landowners Property in an attempt to limit public access.

2nd and all in favor.  None opposed. 

RID:  A vote was done by mail out ballot in December 2003 to form an RID ($25 annually) to pay for road maintenance.  Of all the ballots mailed out, 223 replied.  81% were in favor with 19% opposed.   An RID seems to be a reasonable option to pursue to enable sufficient funds to properly maintain the roads.  

On Oct 8th, Thursday at 10 am the Cascade county trustees will be meeting at the Dearborn Fire Hall and the public is invited.  It would be a good opportunity to ask the commission for a one-time grant to use for roadway improvements. 

Grader:  Most of the property owners were not invited to the private meeting when the grader was sold in May 2013.    Lively discussion ensued. 

Motion: For officers take this issue to Cascade County court and consider the process of reversing the sale of the grader.

2nd with a majority in favor.  A few opposed.

Meeting adjourned at 11:35 am.