Archive for Thursday, May 21, 2009

City’s trial with Rural Water District No.4 begins

May 21, 2009

The trial in the case of Douglas County Rural Water District No. 4 versus the city of Eudora got underway Monday at United States District Court in Topeka.

Eudora has annexed into the city in recent years property 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 in September 2007 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 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.

On March 9, United States District Judge Julie A. Robinson decision covering motions for summary judgment, which are motions from both sides that seek to prove there is no genuine issue and that the party making the motion is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

The ruling noted that a Kansas rural water district can’t enter into an agreement with the federal government solely for section 1926(b) protection.

The city contends that RWD No. 4 secured a federal loan simply to protect the district from annexation, which RWD No. 4 Administrator Scott Schultz said is true. But he also said the loan would help the district maintain its facilities and water system.

As a result, Robinson said in the ruling that, “… there appears to be an issue of material fact as to whether the loan guaranty agreement was entered solely for 1926(b) monopoly protection.”

The trial is scheduled to last until May 29.

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