Representatives of the city of Lansing and Delaware and High Prairie townships were scheduled to meet this week to appoint people to serve on the Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 Board of Trustees. But that meeting has been postponed.

Representatives of the city of Lansing and Delaware and High Prairie townships were scheduled to meet this week to appoint people to serve on the Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 Board of Trustees. But that meeting has been postponed.

The representatives of the city and two townships were to meet as a group known as the Joint Board.

The Joint Board was established for the purpose of appointing people to the Fire District’s governing body.

According to a 2003 interlocal agreement, the Joint Board is made up of five members – the Lansing mayor, two members of the Lansing City Council, the trustee of Delaware Township and the trustee from High Prairie Township.

But the Delaware Township trustee position is vacant at the moment. And Leavenworth County commissioners have to appoint someone to fill this vacancy.

Because of this, the meeting of the Joint Board that was scheduled for Wednesday is being postponed, according to Todd Farley, chief of Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1.

The meeting will be rescheduled after the Delaware Township trustee position has been filled, according to Farley.

The postponement of the Joint Board meeting comes as officials with Lansing and the two townships have been involved in a legal dispute concerning the 2003 interlocal agreement that established the Joint Board.

Lansing officials are seeking to terminate this agreement. And they believe assets of the fire district should be split up among the parties upon the termination of the agreement.

Lansing officials have indicated they wish to start a new city fire department.

In 2019, attorneys for Delaware and High Prairie townships filed a lawsuit, arguing the termination provision in the agreement was contrary to state law concerning the disorganization of fire districts.

State law outlines a process in which county commissioners can be petitioned to disorganize a fire district or alter a district’s boundaries.

In November, Leavenworth County District Judge David King ruled the city of Lansing cannot use the termination of the agreement to unilaterally withdraw from Fire District No. 1.

King stated in his decision that the interlocal agreement cannot be used to require the apportionment of the fire district’s property upon termination.

Attorneys for the city of Lansing disagree with King’s interpretation of the interlocal agreement and have asked him to amend his ruling to allow the apportionment of the fire district’s assets among the parties.

The attorneys also have asked King to change his ruling to declare that the authority to alter or disorganize Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 is vested with the fire district’s governing body and not the Leavenworth County Commission. The written motion filed by the attorneys argues the County Commission turned over this authority to the fire district’s board as part of the 2003 interlocal agreement.

Once the Joint Board meeting is rescheduled, members of the group will appoint three people to Fire District No. 1’s governing board. The Fire District No. 1 board has a total of five members.

Two of the positions that will be filled currently are represented by Lansing residents. The third position is represented by a resident of Delaware Township.

One of the positions on the Fire District No. 1 board that needs to be filled is currently held by Marcus Majure. Majure is stepping down from the board after he was elected to the Lansing City Council.

The 2003 interlocal agreement prohibits employees and elected officials from Lansing from serving on the Fire District No. 1 board.

“He has served this board well,” Farley said of Majure.

The Lansing City Council recently accepted applications from Lansing residents who are interested in serving on the Fire District No. 1 board. Three people submitted applications. Among the Lansing applicants is Andi Pawlowski.

Pawlowski previously served on the Lansing City Council. She ran for reelection in November but was narrowly defeated by Majure.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR