Dispute over land in Mulkeytown continues after years of litigat - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Dispute over land in Mulkeytown continues after years of litigation

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MULKEYTOWN -- A fight over land in Franklin County has pitted neighbor against neighbor. For almost three years, the Christopher Izaak Walton Club has fought in court with a farm family in Mulkeytown. According to some club members, the ongoing fight has divided the community.

Winter brings a peaceful quiet to the land owned by the Christopher Izaak Walton Club.

But underneath the calm, a heated battle continues to sow dissension.

"This whole land steal lawsuit has divided families, friends," says club member Tony Rosales. 

Rosales became a club member in 2009, buying a cabin on the edge of the lake. He's become an advocate for the not-for-profit club and says he speaks on behalf of many of its members.

"I decided to come out with 'save our land' signs and put them throughout the county so people will ask questions about what's going on here." 

You'll find the bold signs on many properties. He says, a few years back, the club had 60-acres of land and water surveyed in anticipation of an expansion to add more walking and bike trails around the lake, along with something for the boy scouts. But, a neighbor has grazed cattle on some of that property for decades. According to court documents from the circuit clerks office, in 2015, the Vercellino family filed a lawsuit against the club to stop the expansion. The years of court proceedings has left nothing but a never-ending stack of papers with still no resolve. 

Rosales says the club board has provided proposals to give the Vercellino's some of the property, but he says, the family rejected them. Now, he's taking the fight to social media.

"I have shared things that they have done in court, things they have done in person," adds Rosales. "I've given people a voice to put on there why the Izaak Walton Club means so much to them." 

So the dispute continues into another year. The two sides will face off in court again, in January. News 3 made multiple attempts to reach out to the Vercellino's.

For more about the dispute click here.

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