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State Supreme Court to hear Hoschtons appeal
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The Georgia Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear arguments in an appeal by the city of Hoschton over a sewer dispute.

The city is appealing Jackson County Superior Court Judge Currie Mingledorff’s May 2009 judgment that Hoschton pay developer Horizon Communities LLC $191,000 plus nearly $40,000 in attorneys fees.

The case stemmed from an ordinance adopted by the city in 2005 that stated the company would fund and furnish a new sewer 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, the city sued Horizon, demanding the company dedicate the lift station to the city.

Horizon filed a counterclaim for money it said the city owed it from the collection of sewer tap fees; the judge ruled in the company’s favor.

Attorneys for Hoschton are expected to argue that the city was under no obligation to allow Horizon to recoup a portion of its investment because there was no subsequent development beyond the Brook Glen subdivision.

Horizon’s attorneys argue in court filings that the ordinance clearly established the company’s right to be reimbursed for the cost of additional capacity in the pump station as soon as the city received connection or tap fees.

The attorney fees were appropriately awarded because city officials “engaged in bad faith conduct,” according to lawyers for Horizon.

Tuesday’s court hearing comes a year and five days after city council members voted unanimously to appeal.

Times regional staff writer Katie Dunn contributed to this report.

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