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Tipton Judge Considering Validity of Kokomo Remonstrators’ Plea

A hearing in Tipton County Wednesday tried to determine whether annexation opponents have enough remonstrance signatures to fight Kokomo’s attempts to annex.

County residents in opposition to Kokomo’s plans to annex are required, by state statute, to present sixty-five percent of property owners’ signatures to a judge. In this case, it’s Tipton Judge Thomas Lett. Arguments between the city and remonstrators were mostly tangled in the wording of the waivers signed by developers, which have been purported to have surrendered residents’ future rights to annex in exchange for city services.  Lawyer for the remonstrators Alan Wilson called the description of “city services” ambiguous, saying that state law insists a waiver define what specific city service is being waived.

Wilson said,The fact that the city drafted the waiver to say “city services” was misleading to anyone who signed the waiver, thinking that they would have got police and fire protection, sidewalks, traffic control,  parks and recs use, trash pickup and all those things that are considered city services.”

City lawyer Carl Greci says that both sides presented strong arguments, but can’t tell which way Judge Lett is leaning.The issues were well-presented and well-argued by all the sides and we just look forward to giving the court an opportunity to do its job and review the record and make a ruling,” said Greci.

Judge Lett asked for time to consider the arguments and signatures and gave no definitive time frame on his decision.

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