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Hoschton plans to appeal court ruling on pump dispute

POSTED: June 4, 2009 12:17 a.m.

HOSCHTON — The city of Hoschton plans to appeal a court’s ruling in a dispute between the city and Horizon Communities, LLC over ownership rights of a pump station.

The City Council voted unanimously to file an appeal in the case following a 30-minute executive session Monday.

City Attorney Thomas Mitchell said he will file a notice of appeal and an application for appeal with the Georgia Supreme Court by Friday. He did not know, however, when the city might receive a response.

Hoschton is filing an appeal on legal grounds that the court erred in "a couple factual findings," regarding how the city — dealing with "scarce resources" — spends its money, said Mitchell.

He declined additional comment.

On May 8, Jackson County Superior Court Judge Currie M. Mingledorff II issued judgment against Hoschton in the amount of $191,631, plus $38,347 in attorney’s fees and costs.

The case stemmed from an ordinance adopted by the city in 2005 that stated that Horizon Communities, LLC would fund and furnish a new sewer pump station, dubbed the Brook Glen Pump Station.

Under the ordinance, Horizon agreed to dedicate the pump station to Hoschton, and in exchange, the city would reimburse the company for part of the project using city sewer connection and tap fees from future developments using the station.

In February 2008, Hoschton filed suit against Horizon Communities, LLC, Gary & Olsson Properties, LLC, Kenneth Gary and Kelley Gary, requesting that Horizon dedicate the lift station to the city.

The defendants filed a counterclaim, requesting that the court force the city to pay $191,631 for the station, and their attorney’s fees and costs.

Since the station’s completion in 2007, Hoschton has collected $285,000 in what the court considered to be sewer and tap fees from new developments using the station. The court ruled that Hoschton should have paid Horizon $191,631 of the $285,000.

The Brook Glen Pump Station serves the Brook Glen subdivision developed by Horizon, the Wildflower subdivision developed by Gary & Olsson Properties, the existing Panther Creek subdivision, the Oakbrook subdivision developed by Roy "Buckshot" Jones and the new Creekside Village, which Elite Development planned to build.



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