Elections

Haysville sues Sedgwick County over annexation

Haysville is suing Sedgwick County commissioners over their recent vote that the city had failed to provide adequate services to a neighborhood it annexed five years ago.

The lawsuit says that the county's notice, signed Jan. 27, is "arbitrary and capricious." The lawsuit said the county "developed and applied vague qualitative standards."

"As far as the city of Haysville is concerned, we feel we've been put in a position where we've been forced to sue the county," said Carol Neugent, director of government services for Haysville.

Commissioners, she said, were "outside of their legal limitations" when they voted 3-2 in January. Commissioners Kelly Parks, Karl Peterjohn and Gwen Welshimer voted that Haysville had failed to provide services to the annexation area, which is between Broadway and the Kansas Turnpike on the north and south sides of Grand Avenue.

Board members Tim Norton and Dave Unruh sided with the city.

In 2004, residents lost a lawsuit against Haysville in which they sought to avoid annexation and special assessments for streets and utilities that they said would cost more than their properties are worth.

Neugent told commissioners in January that residents of the neighborhood probably wouldn't face the level of assessments they feared and that "the city believes we have provided services in accordance with the service plan" filed with the annexation.

The county notified Haysville that the area would be de-annexed if adequate services weren't provided within 2 1/2 years.

County counselor Rich Euson said the county did not have a response to the lawsuit yet.

"We are working on an answer to the petition," he said Wednesday.

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