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Counties still disputing boundary

Counties still disputing boundary

Associated Press

GILLETTE - Campbell County officials say they thought that lingering questions about the border with Sheridan County were settled over a year ago.

But they say they have no problem with Sheridan County's recent hiring of a surveyor.

Part of the county line has been ill-defined for decades, and an 8-mile-long by 1-mile-wide area has a long history of stop-and-start surveying.

The issue has gained new importance since the coalbed methane boom. A county line shift in either direction would cost either county the 6 percent ad valorem tax charged on production of any coalbed methane wells in the area.

Campbell County Assessor Jerry Shatzer said defining the county line had not been a priority in Sheridan County until recently. "We've been after Sheridan County for 15 years to get the line straightened out," he said.

A map and documents on file in Campbell County show that field work on the disputed boundary was begun in 1989. It was finished in November 2003, when a final survey map was sent to both county commissions, according to Mike Coleman, Campbell County's public works director.

"If they find something that disagrees with our survey, we'll look at their data and make a professional determination," Coleman said.

Copyright © 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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