Archive for Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The year’s top news stories in Eudora for 2008

December 24, 2008

No. 6

The City of Eudora spent some of 2008 dealing with two lawsuits, with the most prominent of the two a dispute with Douglas County Rural Water District No. 4.

At question in the suit is who should provide service to property Eudora has annexed in recent years south of Kansas Highway 10 along Douglas County Road 1061.

Kansas State statute K.S.A. 12-257 states that when a city annexes territory served by a water district, the water district must negotiate a fair price for the city to acquire the territory and serve its residents.

However, RWD No. 4 filed a lawsuit against Eudora last September in U.S. District Court of Kansas City, Kan., under a federal law — 7 U.S.C. section 1926(b) — that states as a result of borrowing money from The Farmer’s Home Administration, the district is protected from a municipality or private entity that would curtail or limit the district’s water territory or customers.

The case is scheduled to go to trial Jan. 13, 2009.

The city found itself embroiled in another lawsuit after Vanum Construction Company sued the city Oct. 22.

The Kansas City, Mo. company alleges it is owed $120,845.18 for work done on the Eudora Aquatic and Community Center in 2007.

The city entered into a contract with Vanum in December 2006 for the construction of the aquatic and community center, including the pool and gymnasium. The original completion date for the project was set for Aug. 29, 2007, but change orders by the city and additional work set the project back and it wasn’t fully completed until Dec. 11, 2007.

The city has withheld $54,500 in liquidated damages — 109 days at $500 a day, according to the contract — because it claims the project was completed late.

City Administrator Cheryl Beatty said the city plans to counter-sue but has not yet done so.

No. 7

A fire at the Eudora United Methodist Church took just a few hours to wipe away several years of work.

The fire started during the afternoon of Nov. 24 in the sanctuary of the church and caused extensive smoke damage. No one was injured.

Although the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s office will classify the cause as unknown, the preliminary cause is believed to be a candle that was not properly extinguished during a conference held the evening of Nov. 23.

The church opened in February, and many of the estimated 220 church members contributed to construction. The sanctuary will need to be completely rebuilt and though classrooms, offices and the fellowship hall were not damaged, they will need to be cleaned thoroughly.

But as members of Eudora United Methodist Church stood in the church parking lot Nov. 24 and watched smoke billow out of the main doors, they already had begun the healing process.

“There were a lot of the people who had worked on the building standing out there, and we found strength in just hugging each other and crying,” The Rev. Michael Tomson-DeGreeff said. “We reminded each other that it’s just a building and all the people are the church, but it just hurts.”

It could be about two to five months before the congregation can meet at the church.

Until then, the congregation will meet each Sunday for 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. services and the 9:15 a.m. Sunday school classes at Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 1003 John L. Williams Dr.

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