Pottawatomie County Commissioners voted to vacate their portion of the land on Patterson Road after going into executive session and hearing comments from the public during their regular meeting Monday.

According to District 2 Commissioner Randy Thomas, Patterson Road near Lake Road and Shawnee Twin Lakes is owned by three entities, including the county, the city of Shawnee and the Akerman family.

In July, the Akermans and the Commissioners of the Land Office (CLO) filed a civil suit against the commissioners and the city petitioning them to close the road.

Thomas said everyone will find out the official status of the road after District Judge John Canavan gives a final ruling, which is scheduled Oct. 1.

However, in the commission meeting Monday, two homeowners who live near Patterson Road addressed the commissioners asking them not to close the road because it is the closest access they and others in the area have to the lake.

Thomas said because commissioners have voted to vacate the road, the remaining land will be reverted back to CLO and the Akermans.

Thomas also explained it is customary in a situation such as this to close the road because of the right of way statutes.

According to Julie Akerman, who spoke at the meeting, the reason the family wants to close the road is because of safety concerns.

In the meeting, both homeowners against the closure felt that closing the road would deny many people access to the lake which they've had for years.

According to Assistant Counsel for the CLO, Jennifer Tupps, the portion owned by the Akermans is leased to them until 2023 and they have a continued five-year lease.

In addition to vacating their land, Pottawatomie County commissioners have agreed to place no trespassing signs on Patterson Road until the civil suit is resolved in October.

Other business at Monday's meeting involved commissioners discussing the 2019-2020 budget. However, the board took no action and will have a special meeting Monday, Sept. 23 at 10 a.m. at the County Commissioners Building to discuss the budget.

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