A popular hot spring just north of Whitehall has been closed indefinitely.
“This situation has been going on for over 20 years,” said Sergeant Wes Heavrin with the Madison County Sheriff's Office.
The situation Heavrin is describing is the illegal use of the Renova Hot Springs. What many don’t know is that the Hot Springs are private property and that’s not the only law being broken when people decide to take an afternoon or night dip.
“So obviously we have the littering situation going on and you’re correct about the private property. From the roadway down to the river, this is private property," says Madison County Sergeant Wes Heavrin. "It’s part of a mining claim. I think its dispersed into five different owners, so trying to locate the owners who are out of state is kind of a pain.”
On top of laws being broken and the disregard for the social distancing ordinance, there’s a serious safety hazard presented for those who choose to climb down into the springs.
“People who are even walking up and down here, it’s a safety hazard. It’s not a groomed path so people can slip, fall ,get injured," Heavrin adds. "They’re getting intoxicated then driving south or north, getting onto major highways and putting themselves and others at risk of getting injured.
Sergeant Heavrin and the Sheriff's Office sent a warning to those who may choose to come back here, that you will not get off with just a warning.
“Anytime I’m coming back here or any of our deputies and people are violating that which is clear or any of our deputies and people are violating that which is cleary posted they will be issued a citation," Heavrin said.