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Driveway easement upsets resident

A dispute between neighbors brought curious and concerned residents to the Kinnickinnic Town Board meeting Tuesday night, Sept. 4.

The dispute involved Town Board Supervisor Dave Nelson -- who stepped aside from his board duties during the discussion -- and resident Don Jackelen, over an out-lot access easement, or driveway.

Nelson had bought a plot of landlocked property next to Jackelen's land for agricultural purposes.

Because it is landlocked it has no official address, but it's located on the west end of Evergreen Drive and borders a private road with addresses 131 and 137 County Road JJ.

Before buying the land, Nelson paid for and was granted an easement to access the land from St. Croix County Court.

This court order gives him the right to construct a driveway through Jackelen's property in order to access his land where he already has crops growing. He planted these crops this spring using Jackelen's driveway for access.

"I'm not intending on building a drive there as long as I can use your land to get access," explained Nelson. "Those are not my intentions at this time."

Jackelen says he never was notified of the court order.

"I don't mind someone wanting to farm that land, but this easement devalues my property," said Jackelen. "Why did I get missed? I got nothing in the mail. I got nothing."

After hearing of the dispute, some residents called Town Board Chairman Roger Van Beek to inquire as to what was going on.

The board, which has no jurisdiction in the matter, had the residents who inquired and the involved parties attend the meeting to clear up any misconceptions and to answer questions.

Van Beek explained the town's involvement in the matter.

"The only reason this is a Town Board issue is because a request for a permit was put in through our building inspector," explain Van Beek. "The easement has been granted and whether that's fair or not is a civil issue."

"I agree with Roger's assessment," said Supervisor Bill Gnatzig. "As uncomfortable as it may make some of us, it's a civil matter at this point."

Said Van Beek: "I'll call the building inspector tomorrow and tell him he can grant an access permit."

Also discussed at the meeting was a matter involving Midwest Gas and whether the board will allow the utilities company to extend service to some residents within the town.

Since the last meeting, Midwest had mailed in a document consisting of several pages to the board for review before it takes further action on that matter.

The Town Board put off taking any action on Midwest's service extension proposal until the October regular meeting.