A Newton County judge has ruled that the Transportation Development District board is a valid entity, according to the board chairman.
Ray Stipp said Newton County Division III Associate Circuit Court Judge Kevin Lee Selby made the ruling under what is known as the "doctrine of latches."
"Essentially, if an entity is ruled valid at the time it is originated and is not challenged within a period of time, and has entered into several agreements, then it's too late to make a change," Stipp said.
The ruling came Friday afternoon in response to an August petition filed by the city of Neosho, alleging the formation of the TDD was invalid.
While last minute negotiations were held earlier in the week, first with a special session council meeting on Tuesday, and again on Thursday in a closed session TDD meeting, the two parties were unable to reach an agreement by Thursday night, Stipp earlier told The Daily News.
While both sides have expressed interest in pursuing a Community Improvement District, the validity of the TDD, as well as the city's recent rescission of a cooperative agreement with the TDD have been points of contention.
The TDD board argues that the council's Nov. 20 vote to rescind the cooperative agreement puts the TDD's cost-share agreement with the Missouri Department of Transportation in jeopardy, while the city maintains that based on the statute subsection under which the TDD was formed, combined with who acts as the voters within the TDD, the entity is invalid, therefore, making the cooperative agreement null and void.
The TDD was formed in February 2011, and stretches from Waldo Hatler Drive to Industrial Drive, and from Kodiak Road to just east of Laramie Lane.
The group has been collecting a half-cent sales tax within its borders since January 1.
More on the story will be in Sunday's print and on-line editions.