RENOVA HOT SPRINGS — “We got a report that there were eight to 10 people here and vehicles blocking the road way again," said Madison County Sheriff department Sergeant Wes Heavrin. "So I brought another deputy here with me today to respond.”
Sgt. Heavrin and his fellow Madison County sheriff deputy responded once again to more calls about people illegally accessing and using the Renova Hot Springs just north of Whitehall. But this time around someone took down the signs from the Madison County Board of Health warning those not to enter the hot springs.
“They’re taking the signs down first of all which is obstructing us, Heavrin adds. "Not only that they are committing criminal mischief and they stole the signs from us so add theft on top of that.”
Sergeant Heavrin and his deputy re-planted the signs in a matter of minutes, but having to constantly drive out to one of the most northern parts of the county is putting the rest of Madison County at risk.
“It’s pulling resources away from somewhere that need to be elsewhere and we’re doing our best but times are difficult," he adds. "We’re trying to get to calls and prioritize as much as we can.”
Nothing has changed in regards to the Governor’s social distancing and shelter-in-place directive so those who are still frequenting the hot springs are in direct violation of that. Anytime you access the hot springs off the road and down the river bed you are trespassing. And having all those cars parked along the side of the narrow dirt road creates a dangerous situation.
“When you’re parking on the road way up here you’re blocking the way for first responders. If we have an emergency and we need to get a firetruck, ambulance or one of the larger rigs through here and their vehicle is in the way we aren't going to be able to do so," adds Heavrin. "And that creates a serious problem."