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Clermont files lawsuit against Hall County over library
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The city of Clermont filed a lawsuit against Hall County on Monday afternoon in Hall County Superior Court.

The city hopes to halt progress on the design of a North Hall library following an extended battle with the Hall County Board of Commissioners, who voted to build the library at Nopone Road rather than in Clermont.

The lawsuit details events of a short period between when Chairman Tom Oliver proposed building the library at Nopone Road Feb. 8 and the Feb. 25 meeting at which the commissioners voted 4-1 to approve building the library in the same Nopone Road facility as the North Hall park and community center.

The suit claims that the board of commissioners “indicated in a multitude of public statements, that the future Clermont library branch for the North Hall area was going to be constructed on a part of the 41.43 acre tract purchased ... in the town of Clermont.”

County officials recognized inadequacies of the Clermont branch, and since 2006 have indicated that the North Hall library would be built to replace it, according to the lawsuit.

In October 2007, SPLOST V funds were used to purchase the tract of land in Clermont.

Clermont residents have contended they were promised that the North Hall library would be built on the land purchased in the city if SPLOST VI was approved.

Hall County has said no such promise was ever made and no vote was taken on the location of the North Hall library until the commission voted in late February to place it at Nopone Road.

The commission already has approved a $253,500 change order to include the library into the design of the Nopone Road facilities. Architects are working on the design with the intention to begin construction this summer.

According to the lawsuit, Clermont is looking to prohibit the county from using public funds, including SPOLST funds, to construct the North Hall library branch at the Nopone Road location.

County Administrator Charley Nix, who said he had not yet reviewed the suit, declined comment.

Clermont Attorney David Syfan offered no further comment.

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