SHEPHERDSVILLE - Many residents and business owners were probably awaiting the end of the 11-year-old lawsuit between two fire taxing districts and the city of Shepherdsville.
A trial date was set for August in Bullitt Circuit Court.
However, an appeal has been filed against Bullitt Circuit Judge Rodney Burress’ opinion.
The Southeast Bullitt and Nichols fire tax districts have appealed Burress’ decision to the state Court of Appeals. During the life of the 1999 lawsuit, the matter has already been up to the Court of Appeals on at least one occasion.
The lawsuit involves the city’s annexation of property which was located in the taxing districts.
Zoneton and Mount Washington fire tax districts previously settled its portion of the lawsuit.
Burress told attorneys on both sides that he would not take any additional action on any motions until the court of appeals makes a ruling.
Property owners who are in areas such as Cedar Grove Road and Highway 44 West could be paying a property tax to the city of Shepherdsville, as well as a fire tax to either Southeast Bullitt or Nichols.
The previous rulings have included that Shepherdsville did not have a regular fire department. Most recently, the ruling has been that Shepherdsville did indeed have a regular, full-time fire department.
The most recently motion was to ask each of the fire departments to document debts they have incurred to provide fire service to those who live in Shepherdsville’s city limits.
City attorney Joseph Wantland asked that more details be given by the taxing districts as to what the debts are for.
Until the Court of Appeals decision is reached, Burress said no further proceedings could be handled locally.
The city has filed a motion to dismiss the appeal.
During a recent city council meeting, there were some rumors discussed, including one where several officials were reportedly trying to work out a deal with Southeast Bullitt.
“We’re hearing all these rumors,” said resident Jamie Welk.
Councilmember Bonnie Enlow said the town board needed to act together on something like this.
Councilman Bernie Brown, who was one of the rumored negotiators, said there was no truth to the talks and he didn’t appreciate people talking or e-mailing without knowing all the facts.
When he took office in January, Brown said he did talk with the fire chief to get some information on the status of the situation. But he said nothing else has been discussed since.
“There’s a lot of rumors flying around,” said mayor Scott Ellis.
He suspected that some of the push behind the rumors might be to turn councilmembers against one another.