Cass Supervisors want to crack down on “Mudders”

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors, Thursday, authorized County Engineer Charles Marker to work with County Attorney Dan Feistner, to draft a Resolution it’s hoped will put a little more “bite” into a State law penalizing those who use 4-wheel drive vehicles to tear up County dirt roads after it rains.

Supervisor Chuck Rieken is upset about the condition of the dirt roads, which are primarily used by farmers to transport the crops from their fields at harvest time. The roads are often torn-up by off-road vehicles soon after it rains. He first asked Engineer Charles Marker if there was anything the County could do about the acts of vandalism. More specifically, he asked if there was any way the County could create a resolution that would make the culprits pay a stiff fines for destroying roads the County has to spend time and money on by grading once the roads dry out.

Marker said the Code of Iowa allows Counties to take action against persons who intentionally destroy County property. He said there is a statute on the books about damage to a county or public road, that allows fines to be levied, but citizens who see such acts occurring need to be willing to report those incidents and be willing to testify to what they saw.

Rieken said seeing a vehicle traveling through town covered in mud is not enough evidence to prosecute those individuals. Someone must see the act taking place, take down a license plate and report it immediately to the authorities. Sheriff Darby McLaren said a Resolution from the County would help in prosecuting those responsible, once they are caught. He said it would be difficult to prosecute them using the State statute alone. A County resolution of support he said, would add more clout to the State law, and show the County is serious in making those responsible pay for the crime.