Members of the Fulton County Board heard public comments during their regular meeting Tuesday night from a former campground tenant about his site.
LEWISTOWN-Members of the Fulton County Board heard public comments during their regular meeting Tuesday night from a former campground tenant about his site.
Rick Dilts of Canton told the board that he was leasing a site at the Fulton County Campground and Recreation Area and had been accused of dumping sewage and gray water onto the site.
Dilts said that John Young, the campground superintendent, posted about the issue on Facebook and said that his property would be auctioned off.
Dilts’s lease has since been suspended, and he said a deputy had told him to leave the property. He also added that he had sustained injuries that kept him from cleaning the site, and he will clean his area.
Dilts asked that his lease be renewed.
Later on during the meeting, Young shared his side on the matter.
Young reported that Dilts, as well as another tenant named only as Mr. Huff, had received a certified letter stating that his site needs to be cleaned.
“(Mr. Huff) was given the opportunity as was Mr. Dilts to clean up the site. We have pictures from the health department who came to inspect. I have the instructions from the health department as to what they were to do. Mr. Huff did exactly as the health department told him to do. He cleaned it up… His lease was renewed. Mr. Dilts had not done anything.
“So come towards December, Mr. Huff had cleaned his and Mr. Dilts had not,” Young continued. “I asked the (Economic Development & Tourism) Committee at that time — Jason (Strandberg) was the Chair — if his lease is suspended why would I support a suspended lease? I’d rather just not renew it. They agreed. Mr. Dilts was sent another letter explaining you have until the first of December to start taking action or by Dec. 31 you have to leave. I have pictures from Jan 2, nothing has been cleaned up.”
Young also mentioned the Facebook post that Dilts was referring to.
“I’m not sure where he was getting comments where I was going to sell his stuff,” Young said. “He is mentioned in the minutes - from my reports I should say - that’s not including Mr. Dilts’s. We have four campers whose leases haven’t been renewed. They’ve abandoned their property, and I’ve been working with Justin (Jochums, Fulton County State’s Attorney) to find out what the campers intend to do. Do they intend to come and get it and haul it away? Or do they intend to leave it there? That’s where we’re at with that.”
Young further stated that he posts his superintendent reports on Facebook to keep tenants informed of the goings-on at the campground.
The post in question, which was published on the Facebook page FFRA - Fulton Co. Camping & Rec. Area on Dec. 10, reads in part, “Mr. Huff has completed the clean-up efforts of his site and his lease will be renewed. Mr. Dilts has made no effort to clean-up his site so I will not be renewing his lease. Of the campers’ leases that were not renewed, not including Mr. Dilts, four have yet to remove their property as of this afternoon. It seems likely that they will not so I’ve began working with the State’s Attorney on what steps will need to be followed to take ownership of the property left behind. Once we take ownership, a sealed bid auction will be put together with whatever items are left and several items from the campground.”
Strandberg, who is now co-chair of the Public Safety & Campground Committee following the consolidation of campground and safety committees, also commented on the matter Tuesday night, “I was not Chair of the committee in August… I caught the tail end of it in September, October, November. We as a committee did agree, and again I don’t know anything about any personal injuries or anything like that, this is a lease that is suspended because it has not been cleaned up. I absolutely voted not to renew the lease. If John wants to work something out with Mr. Dilts he can bring that back.”
Board member John Taylor asked if Dilts’s lease would be renewed if he cleans up his area.
“With the way stuff was left behind, I would not be very well inclined,” Young responded.
Wednesday morning, another post mentioning Dilts was published on the FCCRA’s Facebook page. It reads in part, “Sgt. Daly was out last week, we collected information off the abandoned campers, boats and trailers. The information will be sent to the State’s Attorney, from there the owners will be contacted regarding the abandoned property. Mr. Dilts did not clear his site by the December 31st deadline. The State’s Attorney will also make contact with Mr. Dilts. In the State’s Attorney’s opinion, we may end up taking Mr. Dilts to court over the condition he left the campsite.”
The Fulton County Board also:
•Heard a report from board member Joe Murphy regarding a conference he attended on recreational marijuana; he said the county should start receiving its share of occupational and sales taxes in June
•Approved appointing Travis Allen as Acting County Engineer in face of Nicole Darling’s decision not to seek reappointment; the Acting Engineer need not be an engineer but the position will need to be filled within 100 days
•Heard Finance Chair Jason Myethch’s report which included: the County received an IPRF Safety Grant in the amount of $498,000 which will be split 50/50 between the Sheriff’s Department and the Clayberg Nursing Home; and old plat maps in the Clerk’s Office will be scanned, retouched and uploaded online, which will be funded out of the Clerk’s budget
•Approved a $5,000 payment to an employee whose spouse died and was denied a life insurance pay out from the insurance company; Clerk Jennifer Bankert said an error occurred when switching the employee from part-time to full time and the individual was not technically receiving the benefits he or she should have been
•Were introduced to the Clayberg’s new administrator, Tammie Denny, during Health Chair Laura Hepp Kessel’s report. The board also learned that the American Health Care Association has awarded the Clayberg with a Certificate of Achievement for receiving Tier 1 recognition in the following areas: hospitalizations, antipsychotics, customer satisfaction and functional outcomes
•Approved a small salary increase for a part-time employee in the Zoning Office who had not received the same increase as those at the Fulton County Health Department even though the individual is technically considered a Health Department employee