Neighbors along Rimrock Road are glad it’s been a light winter.
Nearly a month after meeting with city and county officials about the road’s upkeep, residents have been left to haul out their own shovels and plows when it snows.
“This winter’s been pretty forgiving, at least,” said Taylor Bressler, operations manager for the city Parks Department.
The county maintained the road for decades before taking it off its list of responsibilities last year. County Engineer Bill Johns told residents the county could not afford to plow and grade their part of Rimrock, which lies outside city limits but is owned by the city Parks Department.
Residents along Rimrock between Sixth and Bonnie met with city and county representatives last month to determine who is responsible for the road’s upkeep.
The answer? No one knew.
The county had taken care of the road, near Indian Canyon Golf Course, for so long the city didn’t know if it was responsible to pick up where the county left off.
The road is a popular one. Residents along the road often share their space with cyclists and joggers.
Drivers from all over the city use it to access a scenic view of Spokane.
“We’re looking at assuming a large percentage of the cost, due to the high usage of the road,” said Bressler.
Bressler told residents at the meeting that he would look into possible solutions. He says he’s still looking.
“I’ve asked city engineers for an estimate for maintenance,” he said. “We’re also checking out the city Transportation Department’s willingness to remove snow.”
Bressler said he didn’t know when a solution would be reached.
“I haven’t talked with residents yet, because I don’t want to get anybody’s hopes up yet,” he said.
While the city is still looking into its responsibility in maintaining the road, the county has made it clear it is not.
County officials have placed three new signs along Rimrock warning drivers that what they’re traveling on is not a maintained road.
Mitch Mitchell, manager of the Indian Canyon Riding Stable, already has plowed the road once.
“The one big snow we had - I went ahead and did it myself,” he said. “I don’t mind. It only took 45 minutes.”
Mitchell said he was more concerned about what would happen once the snow melts.
“We’ve got some pretty nasty potholes,” he said.