by Susan Dunlap, Montana Standard
“Anaconda-Deer Lodge County will return to court to fight over Modesty Creek Road — this time concerning alleged damages the county caused when former commissioners and others opened the road to public access in 2012.
The five commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to turn down Letica’s settlement offer.
The dollar amount Letica asked for was not discussed during the public meeting. The offer was also not made public last week, when commissioners went into closed session to discuss Letica’s proposal.
County government said recently in an official statement that it denies any liabilities for the alleged damages but the county’s insurance provider, Montana Municipal Interlocal Authority, advised the county to seek an out-of-court settlement. County officials had asked Letica to make an offer.
Letica Land Co., a Michigan-based limited liability company, owns the upper portion of Modesty Creek Road. Locks on a gate had blocked public access since 1980. The upper road leads to Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest and several lakes. Proponents of opening the road said it’s the only essential way to access those lakes. An alternative walking trail is steep, rocky and difficult to traverse.”