Road to popular resort subject of debate

Chuck Wickenhofer
Maintenance responsibility of Cove Road was the discussion at the Ramsey County Commission Tuesday evening.

Cove Road, which runs from Hwy. 19 to Woodland Resort, was the source of debate at Tuesday night’s Ramsey County Commission meeting. The issue? Who will finance the maintenance and upkeep of the heavily traveled road?

Right now, Cove Road is a township road, and representatives from both Poplar Grove and Creel townships appeared at the meeting to discuss whether or not the county should take over responsibility for the thoroughfare.

Commissioner Lucas Wakefield described Cove Road as “unique” in that is the most heavily-trafficked township road, thus requiring more maintenance than other.

The popular Woodland Resort is the main reason for the traffic, and Commissioner Ed Brown said that the resort owners are willing to contribute to overlay work before any potential agreement between the county and townships is made.

What such an agreement might look like looks to be an ongoing discussion. A tentative proposal was made to have the county be responsible for half of the maintenance, with Creel and Poplar Grove townships splitting the other half 25/25.

Another idea was to let Ramsey County take over Cove Road entirely. However, Wakefield pointed out that such a move would mean that neither township would have decision-making authority over the road.

“If you make it a county road, (the township) doesn’t get a say anymore,” Wakefield said.

He also questioned whether such a move would be a benefit for Ramsey County taxpayers.

It was estimated at Tuesday’s meeting that about $150,000 of maintenance work could go into the road when such a project is undertaken. No decision was made on the future ownership of Cove Road, though the county agreed to take up the discussion again at next month’s meeting.