Valley Oaks Drive is riddled with potholes and cracks, and the asphalt crumbles away in places.
On one side, the approximately one-mile section of private road is lined by the Clinton Country Club at the Oaks and includes access to the golf course, with residences from the Valley Oaks Subdivision lining the other side of the drive.
The country club’s board of directors claim their purchase of the former Valley Oaks golf course for $1.5 million in January does not include responsibility for repair or upkeep of the road, which they claim is badly needed.
In a civil lawsuit filed late last month in Clinton County, the directors seek declatory judgment against who they say is the road’s owner to have the drive repaired or replaced, or ask as an alternative that the country club be awarded a money judgment to cover the cost of the work.
The lawsuit states that a road maintenance and easement agreement for Valley Oaks Drive, filed with the county recorder in 1992, dictates that the subdivision’s developer, Robert Evans, is responsible for the road’s upkeep. Evans owns the Evans Family Farm Partnership, named in the suit as the defendant.
And yet Valley Oaks Road Association, a corporation formed by residents in the subdivision to ensure the drive is being maintained, made a demand for Evans to repair the road that was refused, the lawsuit claims.
“Evans has construed the obligations under the agreement to be discretionary and not mandatory,” the lawsuit states.
The country club claims its only responsibility regarding the road is “a fair and reasonable share of the cost of snow removal of snow and ice from the roadway.”
In addition to seeking an order for Evans to repair or replace the roadway — or judgment against him for the cost of the work — the lawsuit seeks court costs and “other and further relief as the court may deem just and equitable.”
When reached for comment Wednesday, Evans did not say which party he felt was burdened to repair the road.
“There is merit to the suit, and the court will determine the responsibility of the parties,” he said. “That’s really all I can say.”
Jim Bruhn, the attorney representing the country club, declined comment when contacted Wednesday.