Resident seeks end to dispute with county

WashCo_logoA May Township resident asked the Washington County Board of Commissioners Tuesday to meet with him and county officials in workshop in an effort to resolve a disputed easement on the resident’s property.

Brent Reibel owns property on Big Marine Lake within Washington County Parks Big Marine Park Reserve. Reibel’s dispute with the county centers on whether the county has an easement through his property to the lake.

“The county is trying to put a road through the middle of my property and destroy my property,” Reibel told commissioners.

County Deputy Administrator Kevin Corbid said the county believes it has an easement through Reibel’s property that was discovered when the county board reviewed a request to build on Reibel’s property. Corbid added that the county wants to use the easement to provide park users access to the Big Marine Lake.

Although Reibel’s property is within the park reserve boundary, Reibel is not a willing seller, Corbid said.

Reibel told commissioners that he had a gate on his property that was removed by county workers. Reibel said he was told his gate was blocking a township road.
But Reibel said a 10th Judicial District Court judge ordered the county to restore the gate.

“The court said there is no legal easement on my property It will show there is no road through my property,” he said.

Reibel claims county officials found three people who said they ride their horses through Reibel’s property. Reibel added that he has not seen anyone ride horses on his land.

Reibel also claims that a past dispute between the county and his father over land his father owned caused health problems for Reibel’s father and eventually led to the family selling his father’s land to the county after the older man died.

“I have been treated so wrong over the last 11 years in this deal,” he said. “I’m saying today, let’s be done with this. I feel I have the right to be taken out of the park because of all the stress this has caused. I can’t bail for myself and I can’t bail for my father.”

The board thanked Reibel for his information, but had no comment about his claims.
In other business, the board:

  • Approved a request from Oakdale for reimbursement of more than $40,000 from the county’s Land and Water Legacy Program fund used by the city to purchase about 5.5. acres of open land near Minnesota highways 120 and 5.The city will convey an easement at the site to the county as part of the agreement. The site, known as the Priory Nature Area, will be maintained as a park and open space by Oakdale.
  •  Appointed Tony Tedesco of Woodbury to the county Board of Adjustment and Appeal.
  • Reviewed plans by a Department of Public Health and Environment working group set up to develop a recycling scorecard as part of the county’s waste management plan.The group is comprised of DPHE officials and community volunteers and holds its first meeting today at the county’s Cottage Grove Service Center.DPHE Director Lowell Johnson said the planned scorecard would help the county monitor recycling and waste plan goals and municipalities involvement in recycling.“We hope to implement this scorecard in 2014. We haven’t done anything yet designing the scorecard,” said DPHE employee Nicole Stewart.