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Monday, October 13, 2014

Ind. Gov't. - More on "Plan to help retrace state border with Michigan"

On May 30, 2013 Maureen Hayden reported for CNHI in a story that began:

Pushed by its neighbor to the north, Indiana has finally agreed to spend money to find out where the Hoosier state officially begins and Michigan ends.

A new law signed by Gov. Mike Pence is expected to set into motion a five-year, $1 million effort to retrace the official state line that was set by a federal surveyor in 1827.

Most of the wooden posts used to mark the border have long since decayed and never were replaced, leaving residents along the boundary in somewhat of a quandary: They don’t exactly know where the official state line is.

Today, well over a year later, Hayden writes in the Goshen News in a story that begins:
The years-long effort to find out where Indiana begins and Michigan ends is stalled again by a disagreement between the states over money.

Indiana surveyors charged with retracing the 1827 boundary believe they can get the job done for about $1 million. Michigan officials want to spend twice as much — a decision that may stop the work for another year since lawmakers in both states must agree to the added expense.

“I hate to be ramrodded by Michigan,” said John McNamara, an Indiana resident and chairman of the Indiana-Michigan Boundary Line Commission. “We’ve canceled at least two meetings because there’s really nothing to talk about.”

The commission is scheduled to meet again Tuesday. McNamara said he’ll again try to convince the Michiganders that they don’t need to spend $1 million more than what’s budgeted to retrace the 110-mile border.

McNamara, St. Joseph County’s surveyor for 42 years, is part of group of county surveyors who’ve been pushing both states for a decade to “re-monument” the border to clear up disputes.

Several in the group have voluntarily walked what they believe to be the boundary in search of remnants of wooden posts used to mark the border. Most of those posts have decayed and never were replaced.

“Some of these guys are in their 70s and 80s,” said McNamara. “We’d like to see this settled before we retire or die.”

Thanks to decades’ worth of historic records, surveyors generally know where the boundary is. But it’s not exact, which has led to disputes over property, concerns about taxation and sometimes questions of law enforcement jurisdiction.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 13, 2014 11:04 AM
Posted to Indiana Government