Jefferson City, MO 62° View Live Radar Sun H 79° L 62° Mon H 81° L 66° Tue H 82° L 56° Weather Sponsored By:

Preliminary settlement reached in Moniteau County library lawsuit

Preliminary settlement reached in Moniteau County library lawsuit

September 23rd, 2017 by David Wilson in Local News

Moniteau County Library @ Wood Place

Photo by David Wilson /News Tribune.

An end appears to be near in the Moniteau County library dispute.

With a settlement agreed on, the lawsuit against the Moniteau County Library District and the County Library Board, filed Oct. 6, 2015, by the city of Tipton and three taxpayers, appears to be nearing resolution.

Appearing in court Monday before Judge Donald Barnes, all of the parties involved have announced a settlement that, when completed, will take care of all issues pertaining to the former Moniteau County Library District.

A judge ruled in February the library district had not been created legally, meaning it never officially existed even though it operated nearly 20 years. Moniteau County commissioners created a public library district in 1996 to operate with two subdistricts — Eastern and Western — but voters approved the tax only in the Western Subdistrict, which includes the Tipton, Latham and Clarksburg public school districts. The county library board later contracted with the Wood Place Library in California and the Price James Library in Tipton following a 2004 election in California to approve a library tax.

Monday's hearing was a continuance from Sept. 13 when a proposed settlement fell apart as the parties disputed details of the agreement.

"The terms of the settlement reached are not finalized," attorney John Kay said.

Specific details of the agreement will not be available until the language is final and the settlement is signed.

The court report does state all the claims filed by former county library employees, federal and state claims, a computer firm and the receiver, as approved by the court, will be paid. Other funds available are to be divided between the city of Tipton and the taxpayers in the former County Library Western District outside of Tipton.

Moniteau County residents, excluding Tipton residents, will vote on a ballot measure concerning a new county library proposal in the Nov. 7 election. Proposition A would provide for a library tax of 12 cents per $100 assessed valuation to continue library services for all of Moniteau County.