- Associated Press - Sunday, December 20, 2015

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Residents of a rural subdivision at the very edge of Sioux Falls city limits are expressing frustration over muddy road conditions.

A handful of residents attended a Split Rock Township board meeting earlier this month to share their concerns about an unpaved, pothole-pockmarked stretch of gravel road, and at least one of them is particularly concerned about emergency vehicles, the Argus Leader (http://argusne.ws/22401D4 ) reported.

“It’s a sight to behold. It’s a safety hazard. We’ve been here four years, we email them all the time,” Milt Tinklenberg said. “It doesn’t get any better.”

Split Rock Township Chairwoman Bonnie Duffy has sent maintenance crews out in response to the residents’ complaints, but she said it’s been difficult for the five part-time employees to keep up with all the issues.

“We try to take care of everybody’s needs to the best of our ability. I’m not saying we’ve done everything correct or to the best of what he’s wanted, but we’ve done our best,” Duffy said. “And 41st Street is definitely a street that sees a lot of traffic.”

The township is responsible for maintaining gravel on the road but it has no plans to pave it. Sioux Falls City Planner Jeff Schmitt expects the city to cover costs of paving the road if the area is annexed.

Schmitt said the issue in subdivisions is that they were built before city planners began working with county planners on where to zone rural developments.

“There’s this area between what’s currently city and what’s never going to be city where they don’t want a cattle feedlot, but they also don’t want a housing subdivision,” Schmitt said. “They’re in this gray area. (Those houses) were there prematurely.”

Duffy said she wants to study the problem and see what it will take to fix the problem for her township.

“Since we’re so big, we deal with a lot of things that these other townships like Wayne or Wall Lake township don’t,” Duffy said. “We’re like a city unto ourselves.”

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Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com

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