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City of Lebanon appeals annexation case to Supreme Court

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By Stephen Lega

The City of Lebanon is turning to the Kentucky Supreme Court regarding its efforts to annex 415 aces of property.

City Attorney Kandice Engle-Gray has filed a motion for discretionary review, which was received by the state Supreme Court Aug. 16. The city is seeking to overturn a decision handed down last month in which the Court of Appeals ruled that a 2006 annexation by the city was invalid.

The Court of Appeals upheld a similar decision by Marion Circuit Judge Allan Bertram. In its decision, the Court of Appeals wrote, "... it is evident that the City manipulated the boundaries to the annexed property, and in so doing, intentionally omitted sufficient dissenting property owners so as to ensure success of the annexation."

In 2006, the city annexed an area that included residential properties, businesses and the land that is now the Lebanon Wal-Mart despite objections from some of the property owners. After the annexation was approved, those property owners filed a lawsuit contesting the annexation.

During the past five years, the City of Lebanon has collected more than $330,000 in taxes (occupational, property and restaurant taxes), although those funds are being held in an escrow account pending the outcome of the lawsuit.