Controversy surrounds abandoned county road

Kathy SwanJ-C Correspondent
Controversy surrounds abandoned county road

A public hearing to consider and act upon a petition to vacate County Road 4575 drew opposition from oil producers and members of the Osage Minerals Council on May 20.

District 1 Commissioner Bob Jackson said the road, which was located near Foraker, had not been maintained by the County for at least 12 years.

“It is a cut through road only,” said Jackson. “This road has been taken off of existing maps.”

Cattleman Lee Briggs was petitioning to have the road officially vacated, noting it is a nuisance and draws trespassers and that he had lost more than one baby calf to cattle rustlers.

Opposition to the closing came from the Osage Nation Minerals Council and BGI Resources.

Citing recent seismic studies as indicators of increased oil production, BGI spokespersons asked the commissioners to allow the road to remain open. BGI even volunteered to maintain at least 3 miles of the long-abandoned road in order to gain access to current and possibly future well sites.

After consideration and discussion, the commissioners decided to take no action.

The next issue to be addressed was BGI’s petition to have obstructions removed from that same road. Specifically, BGI was asking access to their well site via CR 4575. Currently, there was a locked gate across the road. Following more discussion, it was agreed that the land owner would be contacted to see if a key could, in fact, be provided to BGI.