The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

April 16, 2014

Good fence irritates good neighbor


According to Stogdill, the public hearing became rather heated with both sides arguing where the property started and stopped.

County Engineer Dave Grove said the issue could have been easily resolved. “Camp Wapello could have given Mr. (Ronny) Wilson a key to the gate to check his fences once in a while,” said Grove. “But Stodgill wouldn’t do that. So we (the county) closed the road on Feb. 3.”

The vacated road was split down the middle, giving half the property to Camp Wapello and the other half to Wilson.

With the road closed, Wilson contacted the engineer and attorney about marking the property to build a fence down the center of the road. “The county engineer marked the center of the road,” said Wilson. “But somebody came out and bladed out the marks. We had to call them again and have them mark it a second time. This time, we put up the fence.”

Giving Wilson a key to the gate would have solved the problem. Stogdill says it wouldn’t have. Instead, it would have created huge liability issues.

“Unlimited access with a key was not an option,” said Stogdill. “The camp’s association with the Boy Scouts and other organizations is one of the reasons Wilson couldn’t be given a key to the entrance gate. The whole premise behind Boys Scouts is that you give us your child and you know that they would be in a protected environment. As soon as we starting giving keys to everybody, our agreement with Boy Scouts, and others, is null and void. Plus, those people coming in, we’re liable for their actions.”

With Wilson building a fence that blocks access through the camp’s entrance, Camp Wapello’s owners are scrambling to deal with the hardship the vacated road has placed upon them.

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