Contract with lobbyist renewed
The Eudora City Council on Monday received a Legislative update from lobbyist Kevin Barone.
Barone said he hoped to pass a bill that could simplify instances of cities requesting release of land that is served by rural water districts. One feature of the bill would use three appraisals — on by a city, one by a rural water district and one by an independent appraiser —to figure out a fair cost for the land.
Barone will lobby on behalf of the city through June at a cost of $250 a month, which is $500 less than the $750 a month he had been receiving.
“I think a lot of the state feels our case (with Douglas County Rural Water District No. 4 is resolved, but it’s not,” Eudora City Councilman Jeff Peterson said to Barone. “I appreciate you keeping track of those issues to try to help the state and other cities down the road.”
The city has retained Barone’s services since 2007 to lobby on its behalf during the state legislative session in order to affect public policy in the context of rural water issues that come into play because of its ongoing lawsuit with Douglas County Rural Water District No.4.
U.S. District Judge Julie A. Robinson handed down on May 28 a decision that found the city guilty of limiting the district’s ability to serve a plot of 113 acres just south of Kansas Highway 10. The city in recent years had annexed the territory.
The city appealed the verdict and the case likely will be heard in about a year by the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.
In late June, the district filed a motion asking the court to award it $743,904.72 in attorney fees as a result of the lawsuit.