Camanche's Swan Drive residents, city square off over road agreement

CAMANCHE — Camanche residents living on Swan Drive are requesting the city help residents in making road improvements.

Jim Pfeiffer, who lives on Swan Drive, stated that in 1949 there was an agreement between the city and the Swan Slough Cabin Association. The agreement referred to maintenance on the road and, Pfeiffer said, the association and the city had an easement agreement because of a sewer line running under Swan Drive.

Pfeiffer said that, under the agreement, the city was to maintain the roadway in a fashion passable by emergency vehicles. The easement expired on July 1, 1999, and is currently deemed void and not valid. Pfeiffer said residents are willing to enter into another easement agreement with the city of Camanche due to the main line going to the lift station.

"We're willing to comply with that type of language if the city is willing to help us with the roadway," Pfeiffer said. "And we don't want it gated off. There's gates on the lower end and that would be a problem for everybody. Emergency vehicles, mail, garbage collectors. Which the garbage truck caused a pretty big problem when last year when they came through and that road was real soft down there. And they put about 4 feet of ruts, the road just shot straight up under the truck. So we're trying to get it in a condition that it could be paved and could be passable. Just want to see if the city would work with us and help us get it in that condition."

Camanche Mayor Trevor Willis said that if the city takes on fixing the road it will no longer be a private drive. He also questioned who was responsible for keeping the road in a passable condition.

"We're going to have to do some research because, yes, we needed the easement obviously for the sewer line," Willis said. "We understand that. But there and this is strictly from my own memory, from my father, that you folks were supposed to take care of the road. Not the city keep it in a passable condition. You folks were supposed to take care of the road. That was part of the agreement. And I don't see this in any of this paperwork."

Pfeiffer said there appeared to be a disagreement and consternation between Willis' father and the residents at the time regarding who was going to take care of the road. Pfeiffer said multiple residents on Swan Drive are willing to deed it back to the city if that is how Willis and the Camanche City Council want to proceed.

Camanche resident Dan Griebel requested the city pay for taking care of the manhole cover if the residents are required to pay for having their section of road completed.

"If nothing else, if I'm going to pay for having my section done, which is probably the way it's going to end up. Do you want me to bill the city for taking care of your manhole cover," Griebel asked. "I mean it's all busted up. Something's got to be done with it. ... We've got to get some kind of agreement on that part."

Willis said the city is aware of issues on Swan Drive that they need to take care of as a city. He said the city wants to work with the residents to find a resolution so it is easier on the city and the residents.

"We can definitely have those discussions for sure," Willis said. "We'll bring in public works and have discussions, city hall here and with the council and we'll see where we land. We'll get back with you guys if that's alright. Give us some time to do our research and see what we come up with and what ideas or options we may have."