From Shining Valley Homeowner’s Association 

ARLEE — The Shining Valley Homeowner’s Association (HOA) of Rice Lane would like to notify our neighbors and the public that we intend to block Rice Lane to through traffic in coming weeks. Should Tribal, County, or Arlee community organizations wish to maintain Rice Lane for through traffic, proposals for road maintenance may be made to the HOA. The HOA will consider these proposals prior to making a final decision on the road closure. If there is no response to this letter by June 28 the HOA will move forward with plans to block the road.

Rice Lane connects Powwow Road and Jocko Road and is a private drive; neither the county, nor the Tribes maintain it, leaving the burden to grade, plow, and care for the road to the homeowners. 

However, the road sees quite a lot of traffic, especially during Arlee powwow. Arlee District School buses use Rice Lane daily. Funeral processions coming from the Community Center to Jocko Cemetery travel the road to avoid the highway. The road (as anyone who has driven it will know) is often rutted and very rough due to all of this traffic. 

At our annual Homeowner’s Association meeting, it was discussed that the road maintenance was costing homeowners upwards of $1,200 per year, just to grade and fill the road. Some HOA members feel that by blocking the road (which has been done in the past) we could limit traffic, and therefore reduce the cost to those that live on Rice Lane.

Rice Lane HOA would like to publicly absolve the organization and their members of any threat to public safety that this closure may create. As it is a private lane, please travel it at your own risk. This document is intended to declare that anyone injured while traveling on the road may not place responsibility, financial or otherwise, on the homeowners or the HOA.

Moreover, we acknowledge that Rice Lane is part of a community, and no people or groups are being targeted or excluded with the decision to pursue road closure. As homeowners, we merely want to preserve the quality of our private drive we must travel every day. We generously offer the road to those walking, running, biking, riding horse back or other low-impact activities now and in the future.

Please direct comments or concerns to Doug Lefler at 529-9585 or doug@riseupmontana.org

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