Few people know the boundaries of the county they live in down to excruciatingly precise detail. But there are people who do know, for things like taxes and map making. But it turns that out that for a long time nobody knew exactly where Idaho’s most populous county ended and where one of its neighbors began.
By the end of 2016 Ada County surveyor Jerry Hastings expects to be done with what has, so far, been a 12-year project. He and his Boise County counterparts have been trying to re-establish their boundary.
Hastings says the line was set by a contractor in 1883 but many of the documents that defined it were lost. So were many of the marking stones that contractor had laboriously hauled into the rugged terrain.
Hastings says not knowing precisely where the boundary had been created problems. For example, he says the developers of the Avimor subdivision between Eagle and Horseshoe Bend didn’t want to deal with the bureaucracies of two counties and didn’t know where exactly they could build without straying out of Ada. And Hastings says several property owners didn’t know where they lived.
“The assessor’s office in both counties told me there was at least one instance where they had a 40-acre parcel, the people were being taxed the 40 acres for both counties,” Hastings says.
Hastings says there is a ranch that they now know has a building in Ada County another in Boise County and a barn in both.
He says all but a few miles of the boundary have now been set down as closely as possible to the original line.
Find Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam
Copyright 2016 Boise State Public Radio