YORKVILLE – The owner of a local campground that has gotten attention from recent incidents involving law enforcement said he is not to blame for what's been going on at the site and is in compliance with his special use permit.
Tom Tanner, owner of Hide-A-Way Lakes Campground off Van Emmon Road in Oswego Township, said during a Kendall County planning, building and zoning committee on Monday, Aug. 26 that the sheriff's office is directly targeting the campground. He said he doesn't understand how a recent hit-and-run incident could be his fault – since, for example, Walmart wasn't blamed for the recent mass shooting at one of its stores in El Paso, Texas.
Tanner charged the sheriff's office has an agenda.
"You know what their agenda is? It’s this time of year. They want to get more money out of you [the county]," Tanner said.
There were no officials from the Kendall County Sheriff's Office in attendance for the Monday, Aug. 26 meeting.
Tanner's comments come after Kendall County Board members called for a full inspection of the campground following several reported incidents there within the last month. The matter previously was discussed during the committee's Aug. 12 meeting at the request of the Kendall County Sheriff's Office and other County Board members.
County officials previously talked with Kendall County State's Attorney Eric Weis about whether the county could revoke or amend the campground's special use permit with the county, which the county could not do, according to the state's attorney.
Committee member Elizabeth Flowers asked Tanner whether he has a log of when campers check in and check out of the site. Tanner said the campground checks guests in but don't officially check them out, since the question hasn't been posed yet.
Tanner said he would be open to tracking check out times for campers if that's what the county wants.
"I just thought that would probably be better for you," Flowers said. "That way, you know who’s in your place and who’s not."
Tanner also said campers are required to sign a waiver saying they will not stay on the campground longer than four months continuously, which is requirement of the campground's special use permit.
Prochaska said next steps include Kendall County code official Brian Holdiman conducting a full inspection of the site, which hasn't happened yet. If there are any violations at the campground, he said, campground staff would receive a letter requesting compliance.
Prochaska said the matter would then go to the Kendall County State's Attorney's office and the state's attorney would decide whether to file a lawsuit to force compliance.
“After that happens, it’s really up to the court on what the court decides to do,” Prochaska said.