Townships respond to Lansing

By John Richmeier
Leavenworth Times – September 20, 2018

Attorneys say the Delaware and High Prairie township boards want Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 to remain intact. And the township boards will oppose efforts by the city of Lansing to disband the fire district.

That is the message in a letter signed by attorneys for Delaware and High Prairie townships.

The letter, which is dated Sept. 14, was addressed to Greg Robinson, who is the city attorney for Lansing.

Currently, Fire District No. 1 provides services to Lansing and Delaware and High Prairie townships. The fire district is governed by a board made up of members who were nominated by Lansing and the two townships.

In June, the Lansing City Council sent a letter to various parties involved in the fire district. The letter expressed the council’s intent to withdraw from the fire district at the end of 2019 and split the district’s assets with the other parties. The city plans to operate its own fire department in the future.

The more recent letter addressed to Robinson was intended as a response from the townships. The letter was written by Timothy Orrick, an attorney for Delaware Township. But it was signed by both Orrick and Chadler Colgan, an attorney for High Prairie Township.

The letter states the preferred outcome of the townships is for the fire district to continue to operate under the terms of an existing interlocal agreement.

The letter argues that the city must petition the Leavenworth County Commission to terminate the interlocal agreement.

“Disorganization is not mandatory by the Board of Commissioners merely upon the submission of a petition, but rather is within the discretion of the Board after considering the best interests of the health, safety and general welfare of the District’s citizens,” Orrick wrote in the letter. “If the City of Lansing indeed submits such a Petition, both Townships would exercise all procedural and substantive legal means available to oppose the Petition before the Commission, and if necessary thereafter through judicial review.”

Orrick went on to state that if the city is successful in disorganizing the district, the two townships will not contract with the city for fire department services.

“Instead, they will seek to either reorganize the current District, and/or seek to join with other like-minded entities to organize a new District,” Orrick wrote.

Dean Moburg, chairman of the Fire District No. 1′s governing board, said he read the letter aloud Monday during a board meeting.

A phone message seeking comment from Robinson was not immediately returned Tuesday afternoon.


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