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The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa
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Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

August 24, 2017 Bunker Mill group’s petition for road closing review granted
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

Washington

The August 18 hearing on Friends of Bunker Mill Bridge’s (FBMB) petition for judicial review (of Certiorari) of the Washington County supervisors’ vote to close a segment of Nutmeg Avenue saw the petition granted.

In less than five minutes, Judge Randy DeGeest met with both parties, allowing the action to move forward in what is expected to be a day-long procedure in Washington County District Court. Judge DeGeest noted that the date is subject to available dates on the court docket. A single day is easier to set, he observed.

He directed attorneys for both sides to meet and decide if one day or more would be needed.

FBMB filed the action May 4 with the initial county response a pre-answer motion to dismiss the action. It was heard in district court June 23 where Judge Lucy Gammon ruled that the Washington County Board of Supervisors’ decision was “subject to review by certiorari” and denied the motion to dismiss.

The county July 8 then filed a formal answer to the petition, asserting, in essence, that the board’s decision to close part of the road “…was supported by substantial evidence and was not arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable” as charged by the plaintiff, FBMB.”

The major issue is if the board acted in a judicial or legislative manner. Gammon found that the board had “exercised a judicial function” in the vacating action, which made it subject to review by certiorari.

The court review of the board’s decision will deal with evidence and procedures used by the board in its action, officials said. If the review holds for the county, the county decision will be upheld. If not, the entire vacating process could start again, complete with public hearing, legal notice it, and a second board vote.

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