CANYON CITY – Grant County is asking a state Circuit Court judge to correct his findings and reconsider his ruling in the Monument Rural Fire District case.

Ronald S. Yockim, the county counsel, made the request in a filing Feb. 24 in the Circuit Court in Canyon City.

Yockim contends that the district supporters – led by Roy Peterson and represented by attorney Lisa Klemp – erred when they contended that 100 percent of the owners of land proposed for inclusion in the new district signed the petitions circulated last year.

Peterson sued the county after the County Court canceled a hearing last October, contending that the petition drive was flawed and needed to be redone.

Circuit Court Judge William D. Cramer Jr., in a Feb. 13 ruling, ordered the county government to move ahead with forming the district. His ruling accepted the district’s claim of a 100 percent signature rate.

“Grant County requests that this finding be modified to correctly read that ‘the County Assessor certified that the petition was signed by the requisite number of qualified voters,’” Yockim wrote in his motion for reconsideration.

The change in wording would alter the judge’s final conclusion, in which he said the court should form the district and that no election is necessary.

Instead, Yockim said, the opinion should also be corrected “to direct the County Court to set a date for a final hearing on the petition.”

The county would not need to hold an election to create the district unless residents petition for a vote. However, Yockim contends the county would need to hold an election on a tax rate for the new district.

Yockim provided an affidavit from Assessor Lane Burton, who compared a map provided by the petitioners in June 2010 and signatures on the petition.

“He found there were 29 landowners who did not sign the petition and that there were another 17 landowners within the boundaries who also did not sign the petitions but signed letters of support and/or requested to be added tothe District,” Yockim said in the filing.

The petition was filed Feb. 14, 2011.

Peterson contends the assessor used an old map, and that a later map of proposed boundaries includes only the signators who wanted to be in the district.

Yockim told the Court that by allowing the hearing process, the County Court would be able to include additional landowners who want to be in the district and exclude those who don’t want to be included.




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