TOWN OF TURTLE

The town of Turtle’s lawsuit against the city of Beloit over a boundary agreement between the municipalities will move into the next phase of litigation, according to Town Board Attorney Brooke Joos.

At Wednesday’s town board meeting, Joos updated board members on the status of the lawsuit that was filed March 11, 2020.

According to Rock County Court records, a motion by the city to dismiss the lawsuit outright was itself dismissed, which allows the lawsuit to proceed forward. The city’s motion to dismiss claimed the town’s lawsuit failed to state a claim in which there could be a remedy, to which Judge Derrick Grubb disagreed and said the claim could proceed.

“We’ve survived phase one to fight another day,” Joos said.

Joos said the lawsuit now moves into its second phase with pretrial discovery and related scheduling.

“It’s an information-gathering phase which sets us up with a jury trial if there’s no resolution,” Joos said.

Discovery involves various aspects of parties requesting information and undertaking formal depositions ahead of a trial if no settlement is reached before then.

The boundary agreement between the municipalities expires Dec. 31, but the town’s attorneys in the lawsuit would be asking for a motion to stay the current agreement until a resolution or judgement is made, Joos said.

At issue in Turtle’s claim is a resolution and supporting letter sent by former Beloit City Manager Larry Arft and certified by former Beloit City Council President Charles Haynes in 2012 regarding assurances made after amendments to the 1999 boundary agreement in February 2001.

In the 2012 resolution obtained by Adams Publishing Group, the council and city administration agreed and assured town of Turtle officials it would “immediately open negotiations” toward developing a 25-year revised boundary agreement with a five-year extension.

No revised agreement was ever adopted by either municipality. According to the resolution, the council at the time agreed that if a new cooperative boundary plan could not be negotiated within two years of the effective date of the resolution (Oct. 9, 2012), the city would grant a five-year extension to the existing agreement which has been in place since 1999 and amended in 2001.

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