North Webster Adopts Mystery Road

NORTH WEBSTER – Town council voted Tuesday to adopt a road that, up until then, nobody knew even existed.
Council members voted to lay up to $1,000 worth of limestone or gravel on Shelly Street, off Blaine between Himes and Effie Mae streets, after resident Chris Francis asked if something could be done. The unpaved, unsigned road is in bad shape, said Francis, a Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department deputy and North Webster-Tippecanoe Volunteer Fire Department battalion chief, which makes it difficult to get his emergency vehicles out of his home.
He said he was about to put some gravel down when he realized he should approach the town about it first.
Town attorney Jack Birch told council they have no obligation to care for the road since they never have in the past, but cautioned that if they start, they will be obligated to keep maintaining it. Francis didn’t ask that the road be asphalted, but even with only limestone or gravel, questions arose about drainage, snow plowing and continuing upkeep.
Council President Jon Sroufe, who made the motion to lay stone, advised Utilities Manager Mike Noe to plow carefully.
Sroufe observed that the stub of road, which extends only halfway to Linda Lane and has only Francis’ home on it, was part of a development that never took off. He said past councils didn’t stipulate that a developer should build up a road to a certain level before handing it over to the town.
“It’s a past sin we’re paying for today,” Sroufe remarked.