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Sneak Peek at Possible Keokuk Lawsuit


Legal action remains an option in the ongoing saga over where county services are being offered within Lee County.

Keokuk Mayor Tom Marion says he is still working with a former colleague on language for a lawsuit aimed at returning services (primarily driver's license services) to his city.

He did offer a sneak peek, though, to those attending his recent State of the City address.

A slideshow presented during the speech revealed the first page of a lawsuit between the city of Keokuk and Lee County/Supervisors Ernie Schiller, Rick Larkin and Ron Fedler.

Marion says Keokuk residents deserve easy access to all government services.

"If someone wants to come to us and talk about it," says Marion, "fine.  But if someone wants to impose it and say, 'tough beans for you,' we are not going to take that sitting down."

Marion says the potential cost will factor into the decision on whether to file the lawsuit.

Supervisors Ernie Schiller and Rick Larkin, who are mentioned on that first page, voted in 2011 to reorganize county government.

Ron Fedler did not become a county supervisor, though, until 18-months after the vote.


Meanwhile, the city of Keokuk will pay an unexpected bill to avoid a trip to court.

The bill for about $180,000 came in from a sewer project along Grand Avenue.

Public Works Director Mark Bousselot says it was for extra hours and damaged equipment use after a subcontractor unexpectedly struck rock while digging a trench.

He says the original bill was negotiated down to about $60,000, which the city council has reached a consensus to pay.

7th Ward Alderwoman Susan Dunek, who has a background in engineering, says a $60,000 change order is reasonable in this case.

"It's not surprising to have a change order when you are dealing with a sub-surface construction project," says Dunek.

On-Air Version of Payment

Mayor Tom Marion says talk of a lawsuit did surface during negotiations if the city did not pay for the additional work.
The original price tag for the project was about $820,000.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.