GREENVILLE — The Greenvillle City Council has finally closed the book on a year-long lawsuit with Eureka Township after receiving the documents requested in the original Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
“We need to get along better and cooperate more,” said Greenville Mayor John Hoppaugh, adding that both the city and the township have had long histories of working well with other municipalities. “We have really been pioneers in that, collaboration and cooperation. Those words are not new to us. We need to continue to do that.”
At Tuesday night’s Greenville City Council meeting, CIty Manager George Bosanic presented to council the several hundred pages of documents the city received from the township in response to Bosanic’s FOIA request — the pure volume of which Bosanic cited as one of the roadblocks in the city’s search for information regarding any potential subsequent agreements between the township and city regarding the sanitary sewer system at Baldwin Lake.
As Bosanic flipped through several different packets of documents, many of which he said were duplicates, he listed many as having little to do with the request made.
In his request, filed in September 2012, Bosanic asked for public records of an agreement between the city and the township relating to grinder pumps and a forced sewer main constructed near Baldwin Lake.
The lake is partially in Eureka Township and partially in Greenville.
From publications of articles and public notices in newspapers to correspondence (mostly letters) between the township and its residents, Bosanic said outside of five or six pages, the response included mostly information unrelated to the city.
“Nothing to do with the city,” he said as he noted the township resolutions included in the response.
Then there were engineering and accounting documents.
“Again, nothing to do with the city of Greenville,” Bosanic said. ““I think it puts into perspective what the problem was.”
The township responded to the FOIA request saying it would cost thousands of dollars to fulfill it and also tried to charge Bosanic to come to the township and view them in person.
The lawsuit was finally settled out of court last month.
Bosanic said the city did get an answer to its original question on any subsequent agreements related to the 1986 agreement, which addressed operation and maintenance of the sanitary sewer system at the lake.
He said there were no such agreements.
“Here we are a year later that we finally got what we asked for,” he said.
As for the feud, council members all expressed confidence it was in the past and the two entities have already begun to patch up the bruised relationship.
“It would be nice to get back to the time when we received the collaboration award from the chamber,” said Councilman Lloyd Scoby, who noted relations with new leadership and board members at the township have already vastly improved. “I’m confident and optimistic about our future collaboration.”