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~ ~ 25 Years Ago ~ ~

December 10, 1998

Bainville Meeting Declares Dangerous Road Conditions

“The county roads in eastern Roosevelt County are creating a dangerous situation and they have to be taken care of” was the consensus of a Dec. 2 meeting held at the Bainville School. The county road discussion came about after the Bainville Community Club drafted a letter to the county commissioners and such article appeared in The Searchlight requesting that some action be taken. The rural communities of Froid and Culbertson were invited to attend and participate. And that they did with the lunch room at the school filling up, bringing in more chairs for the 120 concerned citizens.

Commissioner Dean Harmon opened the meeting providing county information sheets and a brief overview of revenue county wide. Aboutahalfhourintothemeeting,LeoMatejovsky, newly elected commissioner Ferris Toavs and county road foreman Tom Romo arrived. Of utmost concern on the subject was the total deterioration of the roads in eastern Roosevelt County, how to fix the problem, and personal safety were the main concerns expressed by many during the four hour meeting. “We have to drive down the center of the road. We don’t dare get off to the shoulder or we will run off the roadway,” said one concerned citizen.

Home health personnel are having major problems getting to their clients and the ambulance staff chanted a second to that statement. Many in the room added their feelings with “roads have not been properly maintained for a period of years. It is not the fault of the road foreman and vehicles but sheer neglect.” The group was told that there are four county road operators for Froid, Culbertson and Bainville, two in Poplar and three in Wolf Point. Two people are employed working in the shop and Tom Romo is supervisor. There is 140 miles for each patrol to maintain, Bainville has more to cover.

Harmon said that there is no magic wand to wave. He knows the issue is of a serious nature and asked if those in the room would be willing to pay an extra seven mills to be put in the road department fund. It is common knowledge that there are more roads east of the Muddy than there are west. “There appears to be an ongoing problem between the east and west in this county and we (the commissioners) are trying to improve this relationship for all of the citizens of Roosevelt County. We feel that we are marking modest progress in the right direction,” Harmon replied. With so many in attendance, the commissioners definitely came to realize that the road issue is a serious matter. There were many viewpoints aired, many suggestions extended towards the needs for improving a dangerous situation and yet into the meeting came a lot of humor. Romo and the commissioners have inherited the road headache but will have to return to their chambers taking with them medicine that was dished out at this December meeting not necessarily the healing type medicine but that of awareness and a simple aspirin is not the solution.

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