County to continue cattle guard discussion

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Moffat County Commissioner Darryl Steele said he thinks that those having cattle guards installed in the county should be footing more of the cost for the guards.

The commissioners are scheduled to continue a discussion Wednesday weighing how much it costs the county to make cattle guards versus what the county is actually charging for the guards.

Right now, ranchers and entities such as the Bureau of Land Management and the National Forest Service are charged $750 for county-installed guards.

The guards are used to prevent cattle from moving onto other property via county roads.

While those having the guards installed are charged $750, the actual cost for the county to install the guards runs $2,500.

In a meeting earlier this month, Steele said he would like the county to charge people the actual cost for the cattle guards, which is $119 per foot.

"I don't see why we should be subsidizing the BLM and other agencies," Steele said of the current costs.

The commissioners made the decision to reduce the cost to $750 for those having cattle guards installed in 1999.

According to county records, the reason given for the cost

decrease was that cattle guards go across county roads that are for public use.

Other justifications given for the cost increase, according to county documents, is private landowners are asked not to put up gates, but instead cattle guards on county roads. Because the travelling public benefits from the cattle guards, taxpayers should pay a fair share.

Steele said if the price change were made, it would still be the county's responsibility to maintain the cattle guards once they are in place.

The cattle guard discussion is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday. The meeting agenda does not show that any action will be taken on the matter.

Josh Nichols can be reached at 824-7031 or jnichols@craigdailypress.com.

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