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Equestrian project dealt setback in appeal

SHERIDAN — Wallace Bridge, the equestrian facility proposed for a 325-acre property near Sheridan in rural Polk County, experienced a setback this month when its easement modification appeal was overturned.

January 28, 2014

SHERIDAN — Wallace Bridge, the equestrian facility proposed for a 325-acre property near Sheridan in rural Polk County, experienced a setback this month when its easement modification appeal was overturned.

But Wallace Bridge developer J.W. Millegan is by no means giving up on the project.

It appears that the series of appeals to the Natural Resource Conservations Service's 2012 denial of a request to move a wetlands easement on the property — required for the facility to be built in its entirety — will continue.

Millegan said last week he would appeal the National Appeals Division (NAD) Jan. 17 decision overturning a previous hearings officer ruling stating the NRCS denial was in error.

In the explanation of the latest decision, NAD deputy director James Murray reasoned NAD shouldn't have considered the appeal because Millegan, not the owner of the property when it was enrolled in the NRCS program, had no standing to appeal the decision.

The upcoming appeal will exhaust Wallace Bridge's appeal options before the case can be taken to court, which Millegan said he would do, if necessary. He hopes, instead, pressure from lawmakers who support the project will help speed the process.

"My hope is the politicians will do the right thing and lead," he said.

In the meantime, Millegan is planning development on the portion of the property not subject to the easement.

"We will get this moved," he said. "We are not going away."

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