Elected officials for Leavenworth County and two townships oppose requested changes to a judge’s recent ruling concerning an interlocal agreement that established Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1.

Elected officials for Leavenworth County and two townships oppose requested changes to a judge’s recent ruling concerning an interlocal agreement that established Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1.

District Judge David King ruled in November that the city of Lansing cannot use the termination of the interlocal agreement to unilaterally withdraw from Fire District No. 1.

The judge’s ruling came in a lawsuit that was filed by attorneys for Delaware and High Prairie townships.

Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 provides services to the city of Lansing and Delaware and High Prairie townships.

As part of the process that created the fire district, Lansing, the two townships and the Leavenworth County government entered into the interlocal agreement in 2003.

Lansing officials are seeking to terminate the interlocal agreement as they plan to establish a new city fire department. Lansing officials have argued the assets of Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 should be split up among the parties upon the termination of the agreement.

Last year, attorneys for the two townships filed a lawsuit, arguing a termination provision in the interlocal agreement is 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 his ruling, King found that an “interlocal agreement cannot be used to require the apportionment of all of the property of a fire district on a party’s termination of the interlocal agreement.”

King also ruled that a city seeking to withdraw from a fire district must do so in accordance with state law.

“It cannot unilaterally withdraw,” King wrote in his decision.

Attorneys for Lansing later filed a motion asking the judge to alter or amend his ruling.

The motion argues the fire district’s assets should be apportioned upon termination of the agreement.

The motion also argues the authority to alter or disorganize Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 is vested with the fire district’s governing board and not the Leavenworth County Commission. Attorneys for Lansing argue the County Commission turned over this authority to the fire district’s board as part of the 2003 interlocal agreement.

Attorneys for the two townships filed a response in opposition to Lansing’s motion Tuesday.

The response from the two townships argues the court “should not waver from the well-supported conclusions and declaratory orders it has made.”

The response from the townships also argues termination of the interlocal agreement would return the authority to appoint people to the fire district’s governing board to the Leavenworth County Commission.

Under the existing interlocal agreement, people are appointed to the fire district’s governing body through a joint board made up of representatives of Lansing and the two townships.

Senior County Counselor David Van Parys has filed a statement with the court indicating the County Commission joins with the townships in opposing Lansing’s request for an alteration or amendment of King’s ruling.

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