PLYMOUTH - Who owns the property under the bridges around the county became a question for the Marshall County Commissioners Monday morning.
John Childs came before the Commissioners to pose the question in response to activity on his property. Childs has an organic farm and owns the property around 14B and 14th Road in Marshall County which includes a bridge on the Yellow River. He told the Commissioners that he has no problem with people fishing on the property but has not allowed people to camp there, his objection being trash and campers using the area as a toilet.
Recently a group floating the river stopped to camp and when Childs asked them to leave he was informed that the group had checked with the Marshall County Sheriff’s department and were told that the area under the bridge was public property and therefore camping was allowed.
Childs came to the Commissioners for clarification of the status of land around the counties bridges.
“I’m not an attorney but I would say that property belongs to you,” said President of the Commissioners Kevin Overmyer. “We own the bridge and the road but I would say the rest of it belongs to you.”
Marshall County Surveyor Larry Fisher - in attendance at the meeting - concurred with that assessment pointing out that the county only had right of way in the area, but no land had been deeded to the county around any of it’s bridges.
Commissioner Jack Roose urged Childs to contact the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The DNR has jurisdiction over the counties waterways and Roose felt that they would be able to shed light on any restrictions on use of land around the Yellow River.
County Attorney Jim Clevenger was also asked by the Commissioners to look into the matter and report to them and communicate with Childs about the problem.
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