Leavenworth County commissioners reached no decision Tuesday regarding how they want to proceed with a court case that has been filed against them by the city of Leavenworth.

Leavenworth County commissioners reached no decision Tuesday regarding how they want to proceed with a court case that has been filed against them by the city of Leavenworth.

On Friday, an attorney representing the city filed a petition in Leavenworth County District Court asking a judge to order the county to install traffic signals and left turn lanes at 20th Street and Eisenhower Road instead of a roundabout.

When county commissioners met Tuesday, they were told the county has 20 days to respond the lawsuit.

"You have several courses of action," County Counselor David Van Parys said.

He said county commissioners have the option of not contesting the matter, which likely would result in a default judgement against the county.

Van Parys said the county can vigorously combat the lawsuit in court.

He said county commissioners also can see if Leavenworth city officials are willing to have further discussion about the issue.

County commissioners voted 2-1 last month to include a roundabout in the design for an Eisenhower Road improvement project. The project, which is being funded by the county, will widen the road from west of 13th Street to County Road 5. The roundabout will be constructed at the intersection of 20th Street and Eisenhower Road.

The petition filed on behalf of the city argues the county government will breach a contract between the county and cities of Leavenworth and Lansing if a roundabout is constructed at the intersection.

According to the contract, which was signed in 2016, the project shall cause Eisenhower Road "to be improved to a four-lane surface, with curb and guttering, and left turn lanes at 20th Street."

The agreement also states "appropriate and necessary traffic signals, including at 20th and Eisenhower, and signage shall be installed under the project, with Leavenworth assuming responsibility for the maintenance and repair of such signals and signage."

County Commissioner Bob Holland said he supports a roundabout at the intersection because he believes it is safer.

Holland said he would like to have a meeting with city officials and ask them why they believe a roundabout is not the best option.

"I don't think the meeting would change anything," said County Commission Chairman Louis Klemp, who also supports the roundabout.

Klemp said the city has to branch out and become modern.

"How many people do you want to kill city?" he asked.

Klemp said he would like to have a definition for the term traffic signal.

Van Parys said he has asked the county engineer and deputy county engineer for a definition of a signal under engineering terms. Van Parys said he hopes to have the definition soon.

County Commissioner Doug Smith said he voted in favor of a traffic light at the intersection. Smith said the intersection belongs to the city.

Klemp questioned whether the city government would pay for the traffic light.

Klemp suggested revisiting the issue of the lawsuit when commissioners meet again next week.

Van Parys said he will provide an additional report during the next meeting.

Van Parys said he wants to determine whether the Leavenworth City Commission approved the filing of the legal action in open session.

City commissioners went behind closed doors Jan. 9 to discuss the Eisenhower Road project with City Attorney Tom Dawson during an executive session. When they returned to open session, city commissioners took no action regarding the Eisenhower Road project.

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