County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

Hamilton Sees Long-Awaited Cell Tower Materialize

Some Solid Answers About Lake ‘Parks’ Accessibility



Cleaver Senior Staff Writer

HARRISON – This month, a project a year-and-a-half in the making became a reality when the Florida company Skyway Towers erected a high-rising communications tower on the Hamilton Township Hall property. Valdine Erskine, township clerk, informed that the contract is for Skyway Towers to own the tower on leased township property, and that Skyway Towers will contract with Verizon as its customer.

On June 6, three days after the accompanying photo of the high-flying technician was taken, the Hamilton Township Board of Trustees met for its monthly meeting. It was a lengthy meeting, and in its usual townhall style heard detailed accounts of several residents’ concerns, and in the process offered all the answers and potential solutions it could.

One resident’s concern was lack of response from the assessor to his belief that he was improperly taxed for land crossed by power lines. Later in the meeting, assessor Tina Wright informed that she was aware of his messages and was looking into the history of that property’s taxation and would be in touch with him when she had that answer.

Another visitor, head of the Chain of Lakes Association, said he and his group were looking to bring the community together in activities of mutual interest, such as an upcoming haunted house event and a July 4 boat parade. He also said he was “trying to bring a bit of continuity and civility to this” and “to make sure these parks stay open.” That was in reference to the ongoing property feud over what some call public park/beach access and other adjoining property owners call their exclusive-use property. His position was that the properties in question were not private use, but are parks intended for the use of the community.

His conclusion was correct as again, when Tina Wright addressed the group, she affirmed that it was true that each of the eight section Dodge City plat maps has a different park that is dedicated to their use.

“I know with the park on Surrey Road there’s been some confusion,” she said. “But having talked with the Township’s attorney there was a re-plat of five lots and a park that was one lot originally in Dodge City No. 2 plat, and they re-platted that and created the five parcels and the park. On the original plat, it said it was dedicated to all property owners in Dodge City No. 2. So, yes, each property in the Dodge City Subdivision has a park that’s dedicated to their use.”

She said the three parks on Dodge Lake are open to the general public, adding that regardless of the re-platting, it still falls back under the Township’s original plat designation of public.

As far as dealing with the signs and rip rap that have been placed, Wright said the township’s attorney advises taking the matter to civil court for litigation.

Several attendees voiced their fatigue with the ongoing “civil wars” over the issue, and stated their desire to see the issue put to rest.

As seems always to happen, the question of whether Hamilton Township is doing anything about blight came up, and amid chuckles the answer came that the problem of blight is virtually everywhere. In his Zoning and Blight Enforcement report, Keith Rolph reported having received 19 calls so far this month with four citations issued, and that seven more letters have gone out with an additional three properties he still needed to go see. He said a name had finally been obtained for a dilapidated building on Swallow, and he would be pursuing ownership information the following day. He said the next step then would be getting information from the county building department to be able to condemn the building and get it boarded up.

“And then we had an additional four when I got in here tonight,” Rolph said. “Four more … so we’ve got a grand total of 37 blights that are out there.”

Rolph explained the process after a complaint is filed. He said the violator is given 30 days to get it cleaned up. At the end of 30 days they can be assessed a citation, but if they’re working on it additional time may be allotted depending on the size of the blight. If it is not cleaned up they receive a citation, then another citation every 30 days thereafter.

When asked about addressing the health aspect of blight, Rolph spoke of townships reporting getting no help for years from the health department. Trustee Mike Conway then interjected that the Clare County Health Department had just hired a new health inspector. Conway described him as an aggressive young man, fresh out of college who had assured Conway there would be aggressive inspections.

Melissa Townsend, zoning administrator, reported a Hamilton Township Planning Commission special meeting was scheduled for 5:30 p.m. June 19 for the Mafia Trail on Mostetler special use permit site plan review. Townsend also said she has been getting a lot of calls about abandoned properties, and suggests people inquire at the county clerk’s office for tax records [for a fee] which will include an address. She clarified that the township cannot take over an abandoned property, but rather it usually goes through foreclosure. She also encouraged callers to leave her a message because, as for so many people, she is being inundated by political polling calls and is not answering unknown numbers. She also cited her follow-up progress on various violations, and noted permits are staying in line with last year.

Nancy House, Harrison District Library Board president, again visited the township meeting, and brought with her a detailed listing of the library’s use by Hamilton residents. She also provided a listing of upcoming library events and activities in conjunction with the summer reading program. Additionally, House sought residents’ ideas for presentations/activities that would be of interest to adults, particularly to men. She suggested a presentation by Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett, but that author was recognized by only one attendee.

Old Business included:

-Adoption of a resolution to correct cemetery amendments of May 2, 2024.

-Update informing of the delay in the Park Grant announcement until late June or July.

-Results of the Budget Workshop and setting the Annual Budget Hearing for 6:30 p.m. June 26.

-Discussion of a Fire Protection Special Assessment Resolution.

After discussion, under New Business, the Board moved to accept the five-year Fire Protection Special Assessment Resolution and set a 6:30 p.m. July 24 public hearing at the township hall. A public notice will be published two times in the Clare County Cleaver prior to that hearing date.

The Board also approved the purchase of a replacement computer for the deputy clerk not to exceed $1,500.

The Hamilton Township Board will meet next at 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 5 [delayed from Thursday due to the July 4 holiday] at Hamilton Township Hall, 3042 N. Rodgers Ave.


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