County does not appeal TIF ruling

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The TIF lawsuit between Barry County and the City of Monett could be coming to a close after the Barry County Commission opted not to appeal the most recent ruling handed down by the Missouri Court of Appeals. The court affirmed Judge Neal Quinto's ruling, which sided with the City of Monett and confirmed the legitimacy of Monett's TIF program.

According to Barry County Presiding Commissioner Cherry Warren, the commission took no action in response to the ruling, which was issued on May 13. The county had 15 days to respond to the appeal court's ruling, and the commissioners let the deadline pass without taking action.

The Barry County Emergency Services E-911 Board, which is a separate entity from Barry County, has chosen a different legal route.

On May 28, Cassville attorneys David Cole and Cordelia Herrin filed an application asking for the case to be transferred to the Missouri Supreme Court.

"Whether the Supreme Court will hear the case or not, we don't know," said Jon Horner, chairman of the E-911 Board. "The biggest reason we want to pursue this is because most of the appeals court ruling was devoted to the county. Very little of it took up the points we'd raised from the standpoint of 911.

"We felt like we needed to make sure the court thoroughly reviewed the case and understood that we're a separate entity from the county," explained Horner.

According to Horner, the board's attorneys did not have to create a new brief in asking that the case be transferred to the Missouri Supreme Court, and therefore, there was not a lot of time and expense involved in filing this latest court action.

Both Barry County and the Barry County E-911 Board have escrowed the money to cover the TIF payments that are at the center of the lawsuit.

To date, Barry County E-911 has $377,712.81 placed in escrow, and Barry County's current escrow totals $2,400,719.70.

Warren said Monett will receive the escrowed funds when a judge directs the county to transfer the money to the city.

Editor's note: At presstime, the Cassville Democrat learned that the Missouri Court of Appeals denied the Barry County E-911 Board's request for a transfer to the Missouri Supreme Court. It is the newspaper's understanding that the E-911 Board will now have 15 days to apply directly to the Supreme Court for a transfer.

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