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Labatte Seeks Writ Of Review In Road Dispute

A Roosevelt County resident is seeking a legal writ of review to stop the county from control of Road 2058 near Culbertson.

Property owners Lynn Labatte, Linda Labatte and L& L Land and Livestock filed the motion in district court.

Attorney Jordan Knudsen is requesting a hearing and for the county to desist from further proceedings with the road. Knudsen’s argument is that the county didn’t follow statutorily proceedings to create a county road.

According to the Labattes, the two-track road was not constructed or maintained by the state or Roosevelt County. They note the road was privately constructed and maintained.

Labatte claims that he petitioned the county in 2007 to close the road. He didn’t receive a response from the county.

In March, commissioners unanimously voted against a request to abandon the road.

Commissioner Gordon Oelkers said during that meeting that he was advised by a commissioner from a different county not to abandon roads because there might be a need in the future for the road.

Commissioners agreed that signs could be posted to distract oil companies from using the road.

Labatte said that a sign is already in place, but it isn’t stopping oil trucks from using the road.

“I can’t believe you aren’t going to close this,” Labatte said to commissioners. “It’s our property, the whole thing.”

This May, commissioners decided on a 2-1 vote against a second request to abandon the road. Commissioner Robert Toavs voted in favor of abandoning the road.

After the votes were cast, Labatte asked commissioner Gary Macdonald why he voted against the request.

“I will never vote to abandon a county road,” Macdonald answered.

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