When Sedgwick County began billing cities for housing inmates in jail on municipal charges, several cities paid the $2.09 hourly fee.
Others, including Wichita, did not.
Eventually, the county sued the cities that refused to pay. A judge ruled the county had the right to charge, and cities began negotiating settlements with the county.
The most recent — and the last — was Wichita, which will pay 37 percent of the back fees it owes by giving property to the county.
Now, the county plans to refund fees to the nine cities that paid them from the start. Commissioners say it's the fair thing to do. Two other cities didn't incur any fees.
"We wanted to show those folks who started off paying at the very beginning that we appreciated their cooperation," commissioner Dave Unruh said.
Commissioners will vote Wednesday on whether to refund 80 percent of the fees from the cities that paid from the start.
Cities that initially refused to pay eventually settled at rates of between 26 percent and 37 percent of what they owed for 2008 and 2009.
"It just seemed reasonable and fair," Unruh said.
Board chairman Karl Peterjohn agreed.
"We've got to treat all the cities as fairly and equitably as possible," Peterjohn said. "I think it's just a matter of equity to get the communities that hadn't fought us from the get-go treated in a way that we can get this issue resolved and finished."
Nine cities paid $139,980 without being sued. The proposal commissioners will consider Wednesday is to refund about $111,984.
The refunds would be:
* $64,324 to Derby
* $24,878 to Valley Center
* $9,178 to Mulvane
* $4,610 to Maize
* $3,389 to Mount Hope
* $1,981 to Eastborough
* $1,612 to Clearwater
* $1,281 to Kechi
* $731 to Bentley
Two other cities, Viola and Sedgwick, have not incurred any charges.
The county began charging the fees as a way to get cities to think twice about sending people to jail for municipal offenses.
All cities began paying 100 percent of the fees on Jan. 1.