Leavenworth County commissioners have been asked to undo a recent action that gave Lansing residents a super majority on the governing board of Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1.

Leavenworth County commissioners have been asked to undo a recent action that gave Lansing residents a super majority on the governing board of Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1.

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

Members of the Fire District No. 1 Board of Trustees are appointed by a Joint Board, which is made up of representatives of the Lansing city government and the trustees of the two townships.

The Leavenworth County Commission is a party to a 2003 interlocal agreement that created the Joint Board.

Commissioners were presented a letter Wednesday from Delaware Township Trustee Travis Hunsecker. The letter informed commissioners of a resolution approved by the Delaware Township Board a day earlier.

The resolution is asking the County Commission to repeal actions taken by a Joint Board during a Jan. 22 meeting.

As a result of votes taken during the Jan. 22 meeting, four of the five members of the Fire District No. 1 board are Lansing residents. The remaining member is from the High Prairie Township.

In 2003, the Joint Board approved a resolution stating the five-member fire district board would be made up of three Lansing residents, one Delaware Township resident and one High Prairie Township resident.

The Joint Board previously followed this practice. But during the Jan. 22 meeting, the Lansing majority on the Joint Board voted to appoint an additional Lansing resident to the fire district board instead of a Delaware Township resident.

Delaware Township officials are asking county commissioners to undo actions of the Jan. 22 Joint Board meeting and direct that the composition of the Fire District No. 1 board conform to the 2003 resolution.

If the Joint Board fails to comply, Delaware Township officials are requesting that county commissioners begin to directly appoint members to the Fire District No. 1 board and revoke its delegation of authority to the Joint Board.

The request from Delaware Township follows a legal battle in Leavenworth County District Court that concerned the interlocal agreement used to create the Joint Board.

Lansing officials are seeking to terminate the interlocal agreement and establish a city fire department.

Lansing officials have argued the assets of Fire District No. 1 should be divided among the parties upon termination of the interlocal agreement.

District Judge David King has ruled termination of the agreement cannot be used to require apportionment of the assets of the fire district.

County Commission Chairman Doug Smith asked Wednesday if commissioners need a work session to go over legal issues related to Fire District No. 1.

Senior County Counselor David Van Parys said he would like time to review the matter.

Van Parys acknowledged there is an urgency because fire protection services are involved.

Commissioner Chad Schimke said commissioners should focus on the residents who receive services from Fire District No. 1.

“We need to play whatever part we can to ensure that services continue,” he said.

Schimke said “time is of the essence.”

Commissioner Mike Stieben recommended that people who live in Fire District No. 1 contact their elected officials. Stieben argued the dispute, which has involved government entities suing other government entities, has been a colossal waste of taxpayer money.

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