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Park Hills, Desloge back in court on Monday

FARMINGTON – Park Hills and Desloge were back in court on Monday as attorneys for Desloge filed a motion to compel, for contempt and for sanctions against Park Hills. The hearing on Monday was the latest development in a dispute between the neighboring communities over documents that identify water customers from Desloge who are supplied with water from the City of Park Hills.

John Oliver, an attorney representing Park Hills, argued at the start of the hearing that there was nothing to proceed with in the hearing because Park Hills had already answered the interrogatories in question.

Oliver said the answers were sent to the Desloge attorneys’ office on Saturday via FedEx.

John Young, an attorney representing Desloge, said his office has received a compact disk from Park Hills that contained data and information.

“The only time I have had to look at the CD was for a little while this morning,” said Young. “My initial reaction is there are deficiencies in the answers. The data doesn’t provide the amounts of the water that was supplied to the customers and doesn’t distinguish between residential customers and commercial users.”

Young asked Associate Circuit Judge Raymond M. Weber if the first part of his motion could be continued or delayed until he had a better opportunity to review the data. Weber agreed and a tentative date was set for November if it is needed.

The other part of the motion pertained to a ruling Weber made on May 21 that ordered Park Hills to pay Desloge $5,000 for attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by Desloge as a result of Park Hills’ failure to comply with the discovery requested and ordered by the court. The ruling also ordered Park Hills had 90 days from May 22 to fully answer interrogatories asked by Desloge or face a $1,000 a day penalty for every day after the 90 days it takes to answer the interrogatories.

Desloge asked Weber to issue a monetary judgment against Park Hills so the amount of money that Park Hills owes can become executable.

Young asked the court to enter an order confirming that Park Hills was 44 days past the 90 days at $1,000 per day and asked for an order for the additional $5,000 for attorney’s fees.

Oliver asked Weber to reconsider the order and to set aside the ruling made on May 21. Oliver also said the court is obligated to award Park Hills $7,900 plus an additional $1,768. The $9,668 amount is expenses Park Hills incurred while answering interrogatories.

Weber said he would hopefully rule within in the week on the motion.

Park Hills City Administrator John Kennedy said he is awaiting the judge’s ruling and did not wish to comment at this time.

Desloge City Administrator Eric Wiederhold said he is happy Park Hills has provided the answers to the interrogatories.

“I am certainly happy Park Hills has provided something regarding discovery,” said Wiederhold. “Our attorneys are in the process of reviewing the data now. We do know at this point there are some deficiencies. We hope the deficiencies can be addressed by Park Hills without much further delay.”

The City of Desloge is seeking documents that identify water customers from Desloge who are supplied water from the City of Park Hills, their addresses and the amounts that they paid in water bills during a rate inequity period from the later part of 1994 to 1998 when a $5 surcharge was assessed to Desloge customers and from 1998 to 2000 when residents were charged double while commercial businesses where charged triple amounts.

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