Gas leaves pasture landlocked



November 11, 2015 - 12:00 AM

GAS — Paula Dieker Swayze owns a 20-acre pasture just north of Gas that is landlocked.
The problem arose when Swayze sold her home and adjacent property, but kept the 20 acres without including an access agreement in the sale.
Now, she has a renter wanting it for summer grazing and asked Gas council members for help Tuesday night.
After discussion that involved huddles at two or three places around the table, Swayze’s plea went unheeded.
“I don’t see us spending one red penny to give access for someone living outside the city,” said Gas Mayor Darrell Catron.
An alley running west of North Taylor Street runs to within a few feet of the pasture in question.
Judy Johnson, who lives at the juncture of Taylor and the alley, said she doesn’t want the alley opened and risk having her lawn damaged.
Swayze’s party then suggested extending Taylor Street, provided another landowner, unrepresented at the meeting, was willing to provide right of way. If that materialized, Catron said any cost to extend the street — or to survey the alley if that route came into question — would fall to Swayze.
“I don’t want to spend Gas tax dollars to get (someone) to 20 acres outside the city, (whose owner) pays no city taxes and it angers a Gas resident who does,” Catron said.
Following about 30 minutes of civil discussion — from Johnson and Swayze and her supporters — council members tabled any further consideration until their Dec. 8 meeting.

IN OTHER NEWS, council members:
— Agreed to have a sub-committee discuss how the old Gas School will be used as a community facility. Councilman Rick Schulenberg is on the committee. “Let us deal with it and bring ideas back to the council,” he said. In regards to allowing consumption of alcohol at private events, a decision will be made later. “I think it should be an option,” Schulenberg said.
— Took no action to limit the number of domestic fowl residents may keep. Clerk Rhonda Hill pointed out an ordinance permits cows, horses, sheep and goats to be harbored in town, for a $25 license fee and provided 30,000 square feet of open space is available for each animal. Chickens had been a bit of nuisance earlier, but apparently that has subsided, a couple of councilmen said.
— Agreed to pay Allen County Animal Rescue Facility for each animal deposited there by the city.

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