There is a huge lack of concern for taxpaying residents of Twentynine Palms who live on private roads. The term “private road” is a misnomer. The use of such a road is not restricted to residents who live on the road. The city of Twentynine Palms, from what I have been told, receives money from the state gasoline tax to help maintain roads on a specific list that excludes private roads. Supposedly the city will lose this funding if they don’t adhere to the restricted use. So we are left with roads that are barely passable and expected to pay to have them graded. We were even given a choice of two contractors to use!

We pay taxes and deserve safe roads to drive on, that the fire department, ambulance, mail carriers, parcel delivery services and newspaper deliverers can use without dodging huge ditches. Do we have to wait until someone dies before an ambulance can get to them or transport them to a hospital safely or their house burns down because the fire department is there late because of dodging humongous ruts in the road, before the city does something about the unfairness of this situation?

The city has the advantage of having an attorney, and most of us can’t afford one, but I’m betting there will be a lawsuit at some point in the future for failure to properly maintain all roads in Twentynine Palms. It’s time for the city to take care of all it’s taxpayers. We’re not asking for beautiful roads — just safe ones.

(1) comment


@ Chris Pilgrim:

If your property, like mine, is one of the parcels associated with the “Small Tract Act of 1938”, the dirt road maintenance is solely your responsibility… and duty! It is not that of the taxpayer’s. These are not County roads. They belong to us. They are on our land.

The U S Government called out (in perpetuity) “rights-of-way” provisions on each tract owner’s patent (deed). The provisions expressly ensured that tract owners would have access to their tracts and routes to them for utilities.

As a matter of course, the general public is allowed to use our dirt roads but the general public has never contributed a nickel to their existence, not ever. And, as you mention, not a penny of the exorbitant road taxes we all pay at the gas pumps has ever been spent on them either, nor should it be.

It is only through the tract owner’s diligence, hard work and hard earned dollars that the Basin’s Small Tract Act dirt roads are maintained and that’s as it should be, since they belong to us.

A note regarding so called “CSA” roads; in those areas where tract owners are purchasing grading or other work from a contractor through one of the handful of CSA agreements, the tract owner’s maintenance responsibility is undiminished regardless of how much or how little they buy. The County assumes no responsibility and neither does a CSA agreement bestow any special authority to the County respecting Small Tract Act road usage.

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