Road Information
Pelican Township has over 15 miles of TOWN ROADS, all of which are paved. 

Did You Know?:  It is UNLAWFUL to push or place any snow or ice onto the public roadway including the adjacent shoulder area.  Citations will be issued by our Police Department to anyone who intentionally does this, so, please follow the law and push your snow somewhere else, thanks!

Town Road Utility Ordinance.
Pelican Township has an Ordinance in effect that regulates any disturbance of the Road Right of Way.  If you plan on placing a culvert, installing a new driveway entrance to a Public Road or in any other way plan to disturb the ROW, shoulder or driven surface of any road within the Town limits, please comply with this law and get a no-cost permit before doing so.  Penalties are provided for violations under State Law.  There is no cost for the permit but you must obtain one before you begin your project.

Do I Live on a PRIVATE, PUBLIC or TOWN Road?  Here are some examples to help you decide.
(Of course, we can validate the type of road you have in front of your property-just call the Town Clerk whose phone number is on the Elected Officers page of this site).

There are essentially three kinds of "Roads" in our Township in addition to County and State Roads.  (In the descriptions below, please understand that the term "the public" means ANY PERSON who is not the landowner of the road in question).

  • A Private Road is typically a private driveway on privately owned land, which serves one (or more) property owners.  Such roads have NOT been consistently used or driven on by members of the public over time without explicit landowner permission.  Many gravel roads in our Town are PRIVATE Roads so please check with the landowner before using them for any purpose.
  • A Public road is a road that may be used by one (or more) property ownersand one that has often been used by the public over time.  After use by the public for a period of time, the public continues to have a legal right to use that road.  (Don't presume this means YOU-check with the County or your attorney).  Such roads may or may not be dedicated to the public for use via a recording with the County.  These roads are not a Town Road.  Such privately owned roads may (or may not be) recorded in a Plat or may be simply by a description in the official recording with the County.  As a Town Board, we deal all the time with various issues on "Public" roads.  Until the road is brought up to Town Road Standards and properly presented to and accepted by the Town as a "Town Road", it remains a "Public Road".  The Town, by law, does not maintain or control activity on such public roads although statutory speed limits and some other laws are enforceable by law enforcement.  Public roads may be maintained by those who use that road, however those property owners must not do anything to the road or shoulder areas that adversely affect the ability of the public to continue to use or drive upon such roads.  Those who violate this rule do so under the State Statute captioned below and are subject to arrest and penalties provided as shown.
  • A Town road is a road that has been dedicated to public use AND has been presented to AND accepted by the Town Board for it's road inventory and is therefore eligible for Township control and maintenance.  All such roads in Pelican Township are tarred, not gravel in nature.
609.74 Public nuisance.

    Whoever by an act or failure to perform a legal duty
 intentionally does any of the following is guilty of maintaining
 a public nuisance, which is a misdemeanor:

    (1) maintains or permits a condition which unreasonably
 annoys, injures or endangers the safety, health, morals,
 comfort, or repose of any considerable number of members of the
 public; or

    (2) interferes with, obstructs, or renders dangerous for
 passage, any public highway or right-of-way, or waters used by
 the public; or

    (3) is guilty of any other act or omission declared by law
 to be a public nuisance and for which no sentence is specifically provided.

If you live on a public road and have issues with speed or use that you cannot resolve with others, please contact the Town and we will try to work with you to find an acceptable solution to all.

Maintenance of Town Roads.
Each year the Town maintains all public roads within the Town with crack filling and shoulder repairs during the summer months and plowing during the winter months.  Shoulder maintenance can be a complicated issue if a valid easement is not in force allowing our road maintenance man to keep the shoulder area clear of brush and other obstructions.  If the shoulder of the road in front of your property is not clear of brush it may be because we do not have a valid easement to keep it clear for you.  This is important in the event of a automobile accident.  If a court found that the accident was caused by or aggravated by the lack of a clear shoulder, you could be held liable for damages and might have to pay the accident victims out of your own pocket.  Because of this, the Town Board recommends that you check to see if there is a valid easement for road and shoulder use where the road crosses your property.  If one does not exist, please contact our Town Clerk and ask if one can be drafted for you.  This is a simple process and can save you much aggravation later.  In some cases, the Town actually "owns" the road and shoulder near your property.  This however is unusual and most Town roads are maintained through an easement that was granted by the property owner.  Many of these easements were drafted and signed years ago but litigation and case law have rendered a few of them invalid.  Where we do have a valid easement, the Town will maintain that portion of the road and shoulder area to the point of actual use and maintenance.  Where we do not have a valid easement, the Town will not continue to maintain the road and shoulder area any longer and that maintenance will be the responsibility of the property owner.  The Town may, in the future, elect to vacate specific roads which do not comply with our basic road requirements.  It is not practical or affordable for the Town to purchase roadway and shoulder easements so we rely on the good intentions of our landowners who for the most part voluntarily give easements to the Town for maintenance purposes.  Where these easements do not exist, common sense will determine what maintenance, if any, a given road receives.

Comprehensive Road Improvement Project.
Our comprehensive Road Project which was undertaken in 1997 was completed in 2000 with very positive results.  The Pelican Town Board crafted the Project in such a way that a tax increase was not necessary to pay for the road paving.  Many volunteers donated several hundreds hours of hands on work to complete this project at an affordable cost.  In the spirit of cooperation, trees were cut to widen several roads, contributions were made to the road fund and other volunteer efforts enabled us to complete this project "on time and on-budget".  An attorney who lived in Pelican Township donated legal advice and waived his fee for services as bond counsel thus saving the Town's stake holders money during the project.  Easements were granted without hesitation in order to allow for the widening of many roads prior to the tarring process.  It is this spirit of cooperation that makes living in Pelican Township such a wonderful experience.  All stake holders can be proud of the efforts of many of the Town's residents during this project.  In the process of improving all of our Town Roads, we also enjoy other benefits of paved roads such as less dust, reduced vehicle maintenance, increased property appeal, reduced noise and fewer places for young people to test drive their weekend projects.  The comments we have received following our road improvements is a testament to the value our citizens place on well maintained, quality roads.  As most tarred roads last no more than 20 years, we now budget approximately $100,000 per year for ongoing road replacement and maintenance of our roads.  This will allow us to upgrade roads when needed without borrowing money to do so.

Pelican Township Snow Plowing Policy

The following is the “Basic Winter Road Maintenance Policy” for snow and ice control on roads which are plowed
within the Town Limits or by contracted agreement with other Towns or Cities within the Town’s service area.

Pelican Township does not have a “Bare Pavement” plowing policy for snow and/or ice removal.

Pelican Township does have a Snow & Ice plowing policy of:

• Plowing all public roadway surfaces as soon as is practical following the cessation of snowfall.
• Plowing all public roadway surfaces as completely as possible.  “Curb to Curb” plowing is completed whenever and wherever possible.  Plowing of the shoulder areas is not practical and is therefore not a part of this policy.
• After plowing operations have been completed, sanding at critical locations such as intersections, curves, hills and other hazardous locations may be performed if deemed necessary by the road supervisor or other person in charge of snowplowing operations.
• Return plowing operations, if necessary, will commence after plowing and sanding have been completed.

Salt/Sand consisting of five to ten percent rock salt of sodium chloride is used by the Town driver where needed and subject to the above guidelines.

The best defense for driving during the winter month’s snow season is to reduce speed, exercise caution and drive according to road conditions.  While bare pavement may exist at times, it is expected that during the snow season many road areas will be snow or ice covered and therefore will require additional driving skills and caution above the level encountered during normal dry weather times.

Why Won't the Town Plow My Driveway?
Pelican Township plows all "Town" roads providing that those roads have been donated to the Town and then accepted and recorded as a Town Road.  If the road leading to your property is a simply a "public road" or cart way it will not be plowed at public expense.  There is a difference between a "public road" and "Town Road".  A Town Road must be first dedicated to the Town and then recorded after being accepted through a legal process.  Public roads are not necessarily Town Roads.  We have a procedure and standards for dedicating roads to the Town.  Roads proposed for dedication to the Town must first comply with our "Road Specifications" for proposed Town Roads.  Please contact our Clerk for information on possibly donating your "private road" to the Town.

Report a road problem HERE!