Hall County Superior Court Judge C. Andrew Fuller issued a temporary injunction on the construction of the North Hall library and community center at a hearing Monday.
The injunction will suspend any work on the library building to give the court time to consider the arguments of Hall County and the city of Clermont.
“It is a good thing because it means Hall County won’t be able to build until it’s resolved by a judge or by way of a jury trial,” said David Syfan, the attorney representing Clermont.
The injunction does allow the county to continue construction on the North Hall park, which is being developed on the same Nopone Road property as the proposed library and community center.
“I’m certainly not surprised,” Hall County Administrator Charley Nix said of the injunction. “I think that Judge Fuller is trying to look very hard at both sides of our case.”
Clermont is suing Hall County over the location of the North Hall library. The suit, filed in April, claims the Hall County 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.”
Hall County officials said no 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.
Clermont Mayor James Nix said the injunction is certainly a victory.
“It’s one step in the right direction for us,” James Nix said.
Though the county has started work on the park, Charley Nix said the county is at least two to three months away from any construction on the library building.
“It just has very little impact on us moving forward with the North Hall park plans. For now, we’ll continue on our grading. We’ll just be certain that we don’t interfere in the library part of that,” Charley Nix said.
Charley Nix said he does not believe the temporary injunction will alter the county’s schedule for the project.
“We anticipate a favorable ruling by the court,” Charley Nix said.
Also Monday, Hall County decided to drop the use of revenue bonds to finance the North Hall park and library.
Clermont objected to the revenue bonds, initially delaying the validation hearing to Oct. 5.
According to state law, residents have the right to object to the issuance of the bonds for any reason.
County Attorney Bill Blalock said the county will consider alternative financing in the interest of time.
“There’s no reason to get tied up into bond validation litigation,” Blalock said.
Tread Syfan, the county’s bond attorney, said including an appeal, litigation on the bond validation could have taken up to one year.
“We’re trying to come up with an alternative and are still working on that,” Tread Syfan said.