The Neosho City Council will consider, on second and third readings, a measure rescinding an ordinance blocking a cooperative agreement between the city and the transportation development district when it meets next Tuesday.
At the Jan. 7 council meeting, the panel authorized city attorney Steve Hays to draft an ordinance rescinding the rescission. The council granted tentative approval of the ordinance at a Jan. 10 special meeting.
Two weeks ago, the TDD board adopted a letter to Neosho Mayor Richard Davidson asking the council to consider a repeal of ordinance 521-2012, which blocked the execution of a cooperative agreement with the TDD.
The TDD board asked its attorney, Chris Williams, to draft an ordinance repealing the earlier one as a form City Attorney Steve Hays could use in drafting such a document for the council to consider.
However, Hays said he explained to Williams in an email, he was not at liberty to act on his own in drafting an ordinance, but must first be authorized to do so by the city council.
On Nov. 6, 2012, the council voted to rescind the city’s original letter of support for the Neosho Transportation Development District’s Highway 60 corridor plan and to repeal Ordinance 497-2012 which authorized the agreement.
At the time, the council made that decision based on the belief that the Neosho TDD’s formation was invalid under the subsection of the state statute under which it was formed. In August 2012, the city petitioned the 40th Circuit Court stating the TDD was invalid. But in November that year, the court ruled the TDD’s formation was valid, which the city appealed to the Southern District Court of Appeals, which struck down the city’s motion last month.
Davidson told the council Jan. 7 that he had been in contact with an attorney for MoDOT before Christmas asking if since the court ruled the TDD as a valid entity, then wasn’t the repeal of the original agreement rendered null and void, since it contained the phrase “as permissible by law.” But he has not heard back from MoDOT, he said.
David Ruth proposed tabling the measure until the council heard back from MoDOT. But council member Steve Hart seconded the proposal, saying it was time for the Neosho council to put the issue “in our rear view mirror.”
“As fast as we can get this done, we need to put this behind us,” Hart said.
“My understanding is the cooperative agreement is in effect,” Ruth said. “Until we hear differently from MoDOT, it’s a moot point.”
But Davidson said he felt differently.
“If the TDD wants this, and the bank wants this, let’s get this going,” he said. “If it’s redundant, then I’m glad to be redundant.”