Leavenworth County commissioners voted Tuesday to abandon plans for a roundabout on Eisenhower Road in an attempt to resolve a lawsuit.

Leavenworth County commissioners voted Tuesday to abandon plans for a roundabout on Eisenhower Road in an attempt to resolve a lawsuit.

But Tuesday's action may not be enough to end the lawsuit filed by the city of Leavenworth. That is because city officials believe the county should agree to the installation of traffic lights.

For now, county officials are planning only to install a conduit for future traffic lights.

County commissioners had planned to construct a roundabout at the intersection of 20th Street and Eisenhower Road. The roundabout was being included as part of a county-funded road improvement project that will widen Eisenhower Road from west of 13th Street to County Road 5.

The city of Leavenworth filed a lawsuit last month against the county government concerning the proposed roundabout.

The petition filed on behalf of the city argued that a 2016 memorandum of understanding between the county and the cities of Leavenworth and Lansing calls for left turn lanes and traffic signals at the intersection instead of a roundabout.

County Counselor David Van Parys advised county commissioners Tuesday that the city of Leavenworth likely would prevail in the lawsuit.

He said lawsuits concerning contracts are generally determined by the language of the contracts. If there is ambiguity, a judge will look at the intent of the agreement at the time it was made.

Van Parys said he spoke with two of the three people who served on the County Commission at the time the memorandum of understanding was approved. He said it was their understanding at the time that 20th Street and Eisenhower Road would have traffic lights and not a roundabout.

Van Parys asked the County Commission to authorize him to enter into an agreement with the city to end the court case.

Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the appropriate legal agreement.

Commissioners are now reverting to earlier plans for putting in place a conduit so traffic signals can be installed at the intersection sometime in the future.

When reached after the meeting, Leavenworth City Manager Paul Kramer said city officials are still expecting full traffic signals as called for in the memorandum of understanding.

County Public Works David Lutgen said Tuesday that the county also will seek bids for traffic lights as an alternate, or addition, to the main bid for the Eisenhower Road project. But it is uncertain at this time if such an alternate bid will be funded by the county or the city.

Even though County Commission Chairman Louis Klemp voted in favor of resolving the lawsuit, he questioned why city officials are not in favor of a roundabout. Klemp argued a roundabout would be a safer option.

“To me, Leavenworth is playing a game,” Klemp said. “They don't care about safety.”

Klemp also questioned the fact that the city's lawsuit initially had been filed without a vote of the Leavenworth City Commission. The City Commission later approved of the lawsuit during a special meeting, and the lawsuit was refiled.

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