Due to a considerable amount of reported farming and fence-line encroachment in Polk County, the Polk County Highway Department has sent out a statewide notice to explain and prohibit encroachment upon county highways.
As a condition in accepting federal and state aid to construct and maintain county highways, the county must provide maintenance and keep the right of ways free of encroachments. This applies to all county highways.
Encroachments detract from the efficiency of the highway section in snow clearing and drainage. They also increase erosion and in some cases cause a potential hazard.
Cultivation of the right of way is not permitted. Right of way that has been cultivated should be restored by shaping and seeding. Violators will be notified and if necessary the right of way limits will be marked with steel posts or right of way markers. Cultivation destroys the grass cover, and fills the ditches. Culverts in some cases have been completely closed from the resulting sediment.
Since highway right of way has been dedicated for public road purposes, paid for by public monies, fencing within the right of way limits is not allowed. The only exception might be that necessary to provide a lane to cattle passes. Such fencing should not include heavy construction such as railroad ties used for posts that could constitute a hazard to traffic.
Permits are required before any work (cleaning ditches, installing entrances or culverts, irrigation, etc.) may be done on highway right of way. Permits, information or complaints may be obtained or voiced by contacting the Polk County Highway Department at 820 Old Highway 75 S. Crookston, MN 56716. Telephone 281-3952.
Polk County residents are reminded that dumping debris of any kind (rocks, tires, trees, garbage, etc.) on highway right of way costs thousands of tax dollars due to accidents/law suits, maintenance equipment damages, and associated cleanup as well as being illegal. Violators will be subject to prosecution.