Eureka Township works to settle FOIA suit

By Mike Taylor • Last Updated 10:03 am on Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Eureka Township Treasurer Cindy Hanson listens to Supervisor Rodney Roy describe planned work on an upcoming civic improvement project at Monday’s evening’s regular board meeting.

GREENVILLE — Eureka Township Supervisor Rodney Roy is hopeful a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit between the township and the city of Greenville will be settled without further legal action.

At Monday evening’s board meeting, Roy said the township’s attorney has been working with the city attorney on keeping the matter from going to court.

The suit stems from a FOIA request the city made to the township on Sept. 10, 2012, when City Manager George Bosanic requested the township provide public records relating to grinder pumps and a forced sewer main constructed near Baldwin Lake.

The township, Bosanic says, dragged its feet providing the information and failed to meet the FOIA terms. Since the city filed the lawsuit, both sides have been trying to reach an amicable agreement settlement.

An initial settlement offer set forth the following stipulations:

• The documents were delivered to the city by the township as requested through the FOIA.
• The township waives the $400 fee it originally charged for the documents.
• The township agrees to review FOIA policies with its attorney.
• The consent judgment is a complete and comprehensive settlement of all claims by the city and the township on this subject.
• The consent judgment will not and shall not be construed as an admission by any party of any fault or wrongdoing, violation of FOIA or similar matters.
• The consent judgment is a final order and resolves all claims.

That settlement offer has been knocked around by both sides without either party seeming to draw closer to a final resolution. That situation may be changing soon, however, according to Roy.

“We have a new court date of Oct. 18 set,” Roy said. “The good news is we’re working with the city attorney as far as getting a settlement that the city and township can both live with. At this time we’re waiting for them to come back to the respective boards and see if we can settle this and move forward.”

Roy said he is “hopeful” the matter would be settled prior to the court date.

“I haven’t got any details yet,” Roy said, “but I’ve just gotten a good feeling from our attorney that progress is being made and we can come to a settlement and move forward.”

In other township business, the board discussed this year’s millage rate, which will remain the same as in 2012. According to Treasurer Cindy Hanson, no public meeting will be held to go over the millage, since there are no changes from last year.

“The only thing changing is our total taxable value,” Hanson said. “Values have dropped a little bit; that’s over the whole township. It was mostly commercial land that dropped.”

The board also discussed plans for a public pavilion to go in next to the township offices on Greenville Road. The pavilion, brainchild of Planning Commission Chairman Mark Wilkin will, when finished, be available for public use and use by parties that rent the township hall for weddings and other occasions.
Bids for the project will be let out soon and work is expected to begin next spring.

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