Judge allowing lawsuit over Lake Monroe logging to proceed

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A judge is allowing a lawsuit to proceed against a property owner over logging activity on his land along southern Indiana’s Lake Monroe.

The ruling by a Monroe County judge rejects an effort by property owner Joe Huff to have a lawsuit filed against him by county officials dismissed. The lawsuit filed in May maintains that logging work on the 250 acres owned by Huff violates county ordinances, The (Bloomington) Herald-Times reported.

Monroe County officials are seeking a court order to stop Huff or contractors working for him from continuing work on the property along the reservoir that’s the primary drinking water source for Bloomington. The county also wants Huff to pay fines for each ordinance provision officials say he has violated.

The judge set a court hearing for Jan. 24.

Huff has also faced a lawsuit from neighboring property owners over his logging plans. Huff’s attorney has maintained that he’s following all state and federal regulations so the work doesn’t pollute the reservoir and that the neighbors wrongly tried to restrict Huff’s use of his land.

The logging work began after the Indiana Court of Appeals issued a ruling in March overturning a previous Monroe County court order blocking it. The appellate court declined rehearing in May.

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