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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Sewer district appeal might soon be dismissed

  • The end may come soon to a court challenge leveled at a sewer assessment approved by the Leavenworth County Commission.
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  • The end may come soon to a court challenge leveled at a sewer assessment approved by the Leavenworth County Commission. A Leavenworth County District Court judge had been scheduled Monday morning to hear arguments in the case of an appeal filed by homeowners in Sewer District No. 3, located south of the city of Basehor and including the Glenwood Estates subdivision as well as two Basehor-Linwood School District buildings. The sewer system for that area had been subject to a Kansas Department of Health and Environment mandate to upgrade from the lagoon-based system into one that fed into the city of Basehor’s wastewater treatment facility. Users within the district are to be assessed each year to pay back the loan provided by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to fund the upgrade, and the board of directors for the sewer district — the members of the commission — must annually apportion the costs to those users. Following the first apportionment hearing at the end of 2011, homeowners in the district filed an appeal, objecting to the assessment method on the grounds that it would rest the costs of a system built to accommodate 225 users on the shoulders of the 98 existing users. Representatives of the group that filed the appeal asked the county to instead use one of the other statutorily-required methods. County Counselor David Van Parys, however, said he showed up to a mostly empty courtroom Monday. “The case was dismissed,” he said he was told. The commission met behind closed doors with Van Parys and County Administrator Pat Hurley for 10 minutes during Monday’s meeting to discuss pending litigation. After that meeting, Hurley said the motion to formally dismiss the appeal had yet to be filed. But he said as he understood it, the motion was to dismiss the case “with prejudice,” meaning that the group could not file another appeal for the 2012 assessment. It did not, however, preclude the users in the district from filing another appeal for the 2013 assessments, which were approved in October this year.
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