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Halstead, KS 67056
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USD 440 Owns Land It Didn't Know About

Posted 6/15/2017

THIS surveyor’s stake marks the actual property line between the middle school and the adjacent property, about 10 feet south of where a chain link fence has been for years. The school board decided to offer the land to the homeowner. THIS surveyor’s stake marks the actual property line between the middle school and the adjacent property, about 10 feet south of where a chain link fence has been for years. The school board decided to offer the land to the homeowner. By Jared Janzen

HALSTEAD—For years, the USD 440 has owned a stretch of property behind the middle school without realizing it. Superintendent Tom Alstrom informed the school board Monday night that a chain-link fence next to the southeast middle school parking lot was erected about 10 feet north of the actual boundary line.

The issue came to attention because the fence needs replacing due to elm trees growing up around it, and a survey was conducted to find the actual property line.  

The board considered three main options: move the fence to the newly discovered property line, put up a new fence in the same location letting the adjacent property owner continue using the school’s land, or put up a new fence in the same location and sign a quit claim deed for the land.

The adjacent property owner has always mown this piece of property, and according to Alstrom, he had offered to continue the current arrangement. The issue with this is the elms on the property reach over his house, which Alstrom said could pose a liability for the school if it continues to own them.

“The option scares me if we just put the fence and say you’re taking care of it, because then the trees still are our responsibility even though they have been for 50 years,” Alstrom said.

Board member Shawn Kohr agreed.

“If it’s going to go to him, it needs to be his on paper so that this discussion doesn’t happen 10 years from now,” Kohr said.

The board came to a consensus to build a fence just north of the tree line and let the property owner have the land if he pays for a second survey and the deed. The district will pay $2,200 for the new six-foot fence.