Lansing has increased its level of representation on the governing body of Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1.

Lansing has increased its level of representation on the governing body of Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1.

Representatives of Lansing city government and Delaware and High Prairie townships met Wednesday evening. The group met as what is known as the Joint Board for the purpose of appointing people to serve on the governing board of Fire District No. 1.

As a result of that meeting, four of the five positions on the Fire District’s Board of Trustees are now held by Lansing residents.

In the past, the number of Lansing residents on the Board of Trustees was limited to three. A resident of Delaware Township and a resident of High Prairie also served on the board.

As a result of Wednesday’s meeting, there is no longer a resident of Delaware Township on the Board of Trustees.

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

The two townships have been at odds with the city in an ongoing legal battle concerning a 2003 interlocal agreement that helped establish Fire District No. 1.

Lansing officials are seeking to terminate the agreement. They believe assets of Fire District No. 1 should be split among the parties upon termination of the agreement.

Lansing officials have expressed plans to start a new city fire department.

Last year, attorneys for Delaware and High Prairie townships filed a lawsuit, arguing a termination provision in the interlocal agreement is contrary to state law concerning the disorganization of fire districts.

Leavenworth County District Judge David King ruled in November that 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 Lansing have filed a motion asking King to amend or alter his ruling. A hearing on the motion is scheduled for next week.

The Joint Board that met Wednesday was made up of Lansing Mayor Mike Smith, Lansing City Council members Kerry Brungardt and Tony McNeill, Delaware Township Trustee Travis Hunsecker and High Prairie Township Trustee Brian Kellogg.

Smith, who served as the chairman of Wednesday’s meeting, noted there have been other issues surrounding Fire District No. 1. But he said those matters would not be discussed during the meeting.

“We’re not going to get into court battles and stuff like that,” he said.

Three of the five positions of Fire District No. 1’s Board of Trustees needed to be filled Wednesday.

Ahead Wednesday’s meeting, Andi Pawlowski, Rob Gaslin and Gregg Fontenot applied to the Lansing City Council for consideration for appointment to the Fire District No. 1 Board of Trustees.

Pawlowski previously served on the Lansing City Council.

Delaware Township resident Dean Moburg has been serving as the chairman of the Board and Trustees, and he was seeking reappointment to the board.

A motion to appoint Moburg to another term on the board failed Wednesday with a 2-3 vote. Hunsecker and Kellogg voted for the motion. The Lansing representatives voted against it.

Pawlowski, Gaslin and Fontenot each were appointed to the board by a 3-2 vote. The Lansing representatives voted for these appointments. The Delaware and High Prairie township representatives voted against the appointments.

Hunsecker said he thought someone on Delaware Township had to be appointed to the Board of Trustees.

“Not according to the rules,” Smith said.

Smith announced, “All three positions are filled.”

With another Lansing resident already on the Fire District No. 1 Board of Trustees, a total of four Lansing residents will now serve on the board.

Kellogg said Wednesday that he was disappointed in the outcome of the meeting. He asked if members of the Joint Board wanted to discuss removing the authority to appoint people to the Board of Trustees from the Joint Board and returning it to the Leavenworth County Commission.

Smith said this issue is in the judge’s hands.

When contacted Thursday, Smith said he believes more than three Lansing residents can serve on the Board of Trustees. Smith said he was basing this on King’s ruling.

“We’re just following the judge, in my opinion, what the judge has outlined we can do,” he said.

Moburg said a resolution previously established that the Fire District No. 1 Board of Trustees would consist of three Lansing residents, one Delaware Township resident and one High Prairie Township resident.

Moburg provided a copy of the resolution to the Times.

The resolution appears to have been approved by the Joint Board on June 24, 2003.

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