Farmer Feud Settled Over County Road Closure

June 16, 2003
Posted at: 7:15 p.m. CDT

BONO, Ark. -- A county decision means that Craighead County Road 153 will no longer continue to receive service from county road crews, and that has some in the area crying foul.

The area of farmland close to the county road in Bono may look calm, but the men and women who farm it are upset at each other, and have been for years.

"I have no idea why he signed it," said Bono farmer Paul Dement of a petition to close the road signed by a relative.

The petition to remove services from a county road, according to state law, must be signed by area citizens near the farmland. The document found its way from a petition, to a public hearing, to the decision to remove it from county consideration.

County Road 153 isn't officially closed, but the county let it go as far as maintenance is concerned. The decision, according to county officials, was made to help settle a feud between farmers to get to some kind of solution. Dement works on 30 acres of the land off of CR 153.

"I feel like it was done in an unorderly manner," Dement said of the decision. "I was told by people who signed a petition not to let me know, 'cause i would oppose closing the road."

For now, County Road 153 is muddy gravel with several places that farmers say will need repairs. But, after the petition and hearing, Craighead County Judge Dale Haas says that everything was done according to state law.

"This has been a constant dispute going back and forth," Haas said. "There was a petition entered, the road has been vacated, and as far as I'm concerned, this is no longer an issue."

According to Haas, the road will have a 911 sign at the intersection of 153 and state highway 230 for safety reasons. As far as maintenance is concerned, the county will call 153 a road, but not have it on its list for maintenance.