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Imagine learning the road you use every day no longer exists. Not that its disappeared. It's still there. The gravel you can feel under your feet, the dust fills your nose. It is there...but Minnesota's Hillman Township, just outside Mora (about an hour north of MSP) says the road no longer exists on their maps.

The township used a law that says roads not maintained for 40 years or more revert to the landowner, in this case, Renee and Andy Crisman. They use this street to get to their home and according to Yahoo News/Star Tribune, now that it's not an official road, will they get mail delivered? Will their neighbor block the road to deny them access to their home (more on that a little later)? Will the school bus still come to pick up their daughters?

What The Heck Is Going On Here?

MnDOT plow cam
MnDOT plow cam

It started some time ago...but basically, the Crimsons moved from the Twin Cities in 2013 and, among other things, were annoyed the township didn't maintain and plow the road to their house. The township maintained and plowed it to their neighbors, the Schmoll's, but that's where they stopped. They asked the township to handle it and they said nope...too expensive.

As so often happens in these kinds of stories, the law got involved because the Crimsons were plowing and maintaining the road and even though the township won't do it, it's against the law for the Crimsons to do it. When the township said, "Hey, we're just going to let the road revert to you" court fights began and now...well, there's not much love on that street that not longer exists.

Hillman Township - Google

From the Yahoo News/Star Tribune...it seems it's a battle of personalities as well as anything else in this township of under 400 people.

"People very much have the attitude that, 'You're from the Cities. You didn't grow up here. You don't belong,' " said Renee Crisman. "How dare you come up here and think you should have your road maintained that you pay taxes for?"

"They have a thing that they're way better and smarter than everybody else," said Danny Schmoll, a former township supervisor who, along with his mother, owns the land that the road runs across, adjoining the Crismans' 120-acre property.

That's like something from a Lifetime Movie, isn't it?

Which side is right? Who knows...we're down here, they're up there and it's just something to marvel at, ain't it? Let's hope everyone figures it out and a long feud can come to an end.

As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know: james.rabe@townsquaremedia.com

Speaking of smaller communities...

Less Than 50 People Live in These 20 Minnesota Towns

Based on 2019 estimates from the US Census Bureau, I found 20 towns in Minnesota that have populations of less than 50 people.

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