- Dick Larson
The Guernsey Connection
So, what is the “Guernsey Connection”? This story goes way back to when we were planning our building. We had several meetings with the county about our property and how we would access it. We were happy with our plan, but the county had concerns about traffic. They thought as we grow there would be increased traffic into and out of our parking lot. Future County plans also called for widening of County Road 10 and Jonathan Carver Parkway (County Road 11). These plans would also include center islands on both roads. The island down Jonathan Carver Parkway would possibly go past the church entrance. This of course would mean we could only make a right turn into the parking lot coming from the north and only a right turn out. There would be no way to enter the parking lot for people coming from the south. After several meetings with the county, we agreed if we constructed our own road from our parking lot to Guernsey Avenue we would be fine. Guernsey Avenue would allow us to make left and right turns on Jonathan Carver Parkway. Thinking this was our only solution we signed a development agreement with the County that said we would build the road. We were to have the road completed by November 1st of 2021, but many factors made that impossible. The County understood and granted us extra time to complete the road this year.
This all seemed fine except Guernsey Avenue is about one-eighth mile away and we would have to travel through the property lines of two landowners to our south – the Montgomery’s and the Wickenhauser’s. We started talking with the landowners to obtain an easement along their property line. We also would have to take a small portion of Wickenhauser’s corn field for which we felt obligated to compensate him. With all the attorneys’ fees and land compensation we have achieved our goal for under $20,000. Of course, that does not include the road construction costs. Last Fall we asked the congregation to approve up to $400,000 for this road. After that approval we began negotiations with the landowners. We now have an agreement with both landowners. If all continues to go well, we should close and sign final documents in the next week.
Next comes the road. After receiving bids to build the new road to Guernsey Avenue we settled on one contractor that will begin the process as soon as the frost is out of the ground. That should be mid-May or early June. (Who knows with this weather we have been having!) Cost estimates for construction of the road are $280,000. This does not include blacktop which we will wait until next year to do. We will have all the grading, drainage, and curb and gutters leaving only blacktop. We have discussed this with the County, and they agreed if we build the road the blacktop can come later. It is in our best interest to wait through another winter and spring thaw so the road will settle before we blacktop. Given the circumstances we should have our own “connection” to Guernsey Avenue yet this summer. We won’t use this new driveway this year, but it will be ready in the Spring for blacktop and finishing.
Finally, how are we going to pay for all this? Fortunately, a line of credit will allow us to draw money as we need it and pay down as funds are available. Also, the county needed some of our land on highway 10 and 11. After negotiations we were able to sell 5 acres to them and that money will go toward the road construction.