Stillwater Road resident to commissioners: “Get Things Done!”
One Stillwater River Road resident wants the rock slide blocking the lane to be cleaned up now, saying it has caused a “great burden” on his business and is hazardous for medical emergencies.
In a letter from William Kaiser to the Stillwater County Commissioners dated June 13, Kaiser explains that what used to take him 17 minutes to drive from his home to his office in Absarokee now takes him 1 1/2 hours and an extra 64 miles.
“If we need an ambulance it is an extra 45 minutes to get to this end of the county, this could lead to legal action, if there is a death,” Kaiser wrote regarding the possible impact the road closure could have in medical emergencies.
Kaiser further writes that rock slides in that area are common and that the people there are willing to live with that threat.
“If it is going to go it would have went by now. Clean up the road, put up signs that say ‘Slide Area Travel At Your Own Risk’ and GET THINGS DONE!” Kaiser wrote. “If you need money take it out of the courthouse money and put it where it is suppose to be used for emergency causes.”
Safety concerns prompted commissioners to close the road following a June 3 rock slide that completely blocked the lane and came down with enough force to push water and debris from the Stillwater River into the yard of a home on the opposite bank.
Engineers for the county have evaluated the slide area at least twice and determined it remains a hazard. Last week commissioners sent residents in the slide area a letter, along with a report from SK Geotechnical, outlining the hazardous conditions that still exist.
The commissioners lifted the voluntary evacuation order for the two residences affected, but stressed that the county was not declaring the area “free from hazards.”
“It is the property owner’s responsibility to determine what course of action to take in order that they may protect themselves, their visitors, and their property,” according to the letter.
The slide is believed to have been caused by moisture from heavy rainstorms seeping behind wedges that were holding large sections of rock together.