The City of Neosho recently took the next step to continue the appeal process regarding a November court ruling that shot down the city’s challenge of the Neosho Transportation Development District.
Richard Davidson, Neosho Mayor, said filing the electronic transcript before the Thursday deadline gave the city another 60 days to consider moving forward with the appeal.
“That means that we have taken the next step in the appeal and in filing this transcript we get another 60 days to file additional information,” Davidson said.
Davidson said that extra time is helpful as the city waits to see what becomes of a potential taxpayer lawsuit.
Davidson previously said that City Attorney Steve Hays had received correspondence indicating that a local taxpayer lawsuit, challenging the TDD, is coming.
On Saturday, Davidson said he has not received any new information regarding that pending lawsuit.
The city filed a petition in August 2012 in Newton County Circuit Court challenging the validity of the TDD based on state statute and who acts as the voters within the district.
Newton County Judge Kevin Selby ruled against the city, and included the “doctrine of laches” in his ruling, which means the city took too long to bring the complaint forward.
In January, the city filed a notice of appeal, though Davidson said the city council had not come to a decision on whether or not to appeal Selby’s ruling, and that the notice was filed only to protect the city’s right to appeal if they decide to do so.
He said the city’s decision to come this far with the appeal is due concerns that the TDD could be found invalid in a potential taxpayer lawsuit, therefore doing away with the funding needed to maintain roads created within the district.
“The city still doesn’t have an answer to the potential flaw that exists in the statute that could impact the TDD,” Davidson said. “The city is going to be responsible for all the road maintenance and be reimbursed by the TDD. We’re trying to protect the city to make sure we’re not responsible to maintain roads that the TDD won’t be reimbursing us for.”
The TDD is funded by a half-cent sales tax imposed within the district’s borders, stretching from Waldo Hatler Drive to Industrial Drive, and from Kodiak Road to just east of Laramie Lane.
The tax was implemented Jan. 1, 2012, and sunsets after 20 years.
In all, the TDD has planned $6.9 million worth of projects, with $2.4 million coming from a cost share agreement with the Missouri Department of Transportation.
While the plans include the extension of roads, widening of roads, creation of outer roads and new traffic lights around the Highway 60 corridor, currently work has only begun on one project, the new traffic light at Kodiak Road and Highway 60.
Page 2 of 2 - Ray Stipp, TDD board chairman, has said that all other projects are stalled as the TDD waits to see if the city continues with the appeal process.