Point of Beginning

Boundary meeting gets contentious

September 2, 2008
A town hall meeting teeters on the brink of chaos when a disgruntled property owner disrupts the meeting, calls the county surveyor a crook and accuses the boundary commission of trying to steal his land.
 


(08/24/2008)

By Cynthya Porter
 
The Boundary Commission meeting in Elba Tuesday teetered on the brink of chaotisc when a family unhappy with the process came in force to voice their outrage.
 
Members of the Winona County Boundary Commission scheduled the meeting at the Elba Town Hall to review their proposal for Lot 80, a tract of land fraught with dispute for more than a decade.
 
Controversy in Lot 80 started after a survey in 1975 incorrectly marked the center of the section, causing each parcel subdivided from that point to be sometimes dozens of feet off the official survey marks set in the 1850s.
 
A subsequent survey in 1998 redrew boundaries correctly, but the shift had property owners significantly encroaching onto their neighbors’ land, sometimes for 30 years or more.
 
After studying surveys, land deeds and actual usage for the better part of a year, commissioners arrived at a proposed compromise to resolve the disputes, but some property owners want no part of it.