Alpena Road Commission Sets Public Hearing For Road Ownership Question
Thu, 03 Jun 2021 06:02:16 EDT

A long running dispute as to who owns the end of, and lake access by the end of Turnbull Mill Road in Alpena County will be the subject of a public hearing by the Alpena County Road Commission.

Juliana and Gary Texley assert they own a private road and were upset to return from Florida this spring to discover brush clearing and other work on what they consider to be their property, and maintain they have "4 inches of documentation from 3 legal firms" to prove ownership.

In the past, the Thunder Bay Underwater Preserve Committee in 2011 asked if a gated right of way access from the corner of Turnbull Mill and North Point Roads leading to Lake Huron could be cleared. But back then it was discovered that back in 1993, former Road Commission Managing Director Ken Apsey believed the road commission owned the road and that it should either be abandoned or the gate removed. The board requested gate removal, but nothing was pursued or acted on, despite the access still showing on road commission maps.

Road Commission attorney Jim Mazrum noted no agreements with the commission are on record, he had sent correspondence in 2011 to the Texley's asking for proofs of ownership, and no further action was taken. "These issues are fact driven", he said, as it appears money was spent on the road to maintain it which over time could be recognized as a public roadway. But that may take legal action on the part of the commission, and Mazrum noted the board might be careful what they are asking for as litigation could be expensive, and ownership could result in having to maintain the roadway.

Managing Director Ryan Brege and Chairman Tom Spaulding observed that the issue has been ongoing for so many years, it needs to be resolved once and for all. He called for a public hearing to be held at the commissions next scheduled meeting on July 13th, so all parties could express their viewpoints.

Afterwards, further discussion may be held as to the next course of action,


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