The cost of conflict: Lawsuit over annexation is adding up
|By Zach Kayser, The Bemidji Pioneer, Minn.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
In the case of the two-year lawsuit between
The clash erupted in the summer of 2012 when the township took issue with how the city was annexing land into the city limits. Since, there have been a flurry of court dates, mediation and tense joint meetings -- and they all cost money, especially if attorneys are present.
The city of
But this isn't free money. The city's premium for the yearlong liability coverage term from 2012-3013 was
"It's hard to factor in what the true effect of just this one case has," he said.
According to court records, to date, the city has paid about
In response to a request to disclose how much money
Relationships impacted, too
There's also a potential cost that can't be immediately measured in dollars: the toll on relations between the two communities and the people who govern them. Will the city and the township be able to patch things up or will they prove right the old proverb that good fences make good neighbors?
Although Thomson was hesitant to predict what would actually happen in the future relationship between the city and the township, he said he hoped for the best.
"I'd like to think that however the lawsuit comes out, they'd be able to work out any differences they have," he said. "Sometimes lawsuits (cause) long-term relationship issues, sometimes they don't. It's just so unique to each set of facts."
"The jury's out -- who knows what relations are going to be like going forward?" he said. "From the city's perspective, we would certainly hope to reestablish good relations with
As the administrator for the
Rice was unsure what effect the lawsuit would have on the relationship between board members, Northern Township and the city of
"It's hard to say," she said.
She said the two
"It is awkward," she said. "The JPB still exists, but
A court injunction prohibits the JPB from undertaking any action that affects
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