United States: Wisconsin Senate Bill 283 2021 – Maintenance and Repair of Private Roads
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Senate Bill No. 283 of 2021 it is proposed to create section 710.20 of the Wisconsin Statute dealing with the maintenance and repair of private roads with easements. In fact, if passed into law, the bill would require all persons entitled to use a private road or access road to contribute to maintenance and repair costs. If the parties have a written agreement on the allocation of costs, then the written document will prevail. In the absence of a written document, or if costs are not specified in a written document, costs will be apportioned based on the amount and intensity of actual use by each person. There are a number of suggested exceptions, but they are usually as follows:
- Maintenance and repair is human-“caused” damage; or
- Real estate is owned by the government or other specific entities such as railways or utilities.
What is not covered in the bill, and what I believe is likely to lead to future litigation, will determine “the amount and intensity of actual use of each useful user …” Overall, the bill makes sense from a practical point of view, because it might appear that those who use the road must also pay for the road unless a written agreement to the contrary exists.
The content of this article is intended to provide general guidance on the subject. You should seek professional advice regarding your specific circumstances.
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