Paducah has asked a judge to throw out a lawsuit the county filed Feb. 8 alleging an illegal annexation of
nearly 174 acres in the Schneidman Road area.
City officials contend they did nothing wrong when they
recently annexed 5,600 feet of narrow Paducah & Louisville
Railway-owned railroad right
of way near Interstate 24 to access
two tracts Paducah Power System and
Tennessee Valley Authority owned.
The county alleges in its lawsuit
that the annexation method, which
it calls corridor annexation, is illegal
and that past legal rulings back
that up. The five-page complaint,
filed by assistant county attorney
Samuel L. Clymer, asks a circuit
judge to file an order voiding the
annexation and to grant "any and
all other legal or equitable relief" entitled to the county.
The legal response city attorney David
Denton filed Wednesday explains
the reasons why the annexation was
legal. It asks the judge to rule in favor
of the city, dismiss the lawsuit and
reimburse the city for legal costs.
The city's response states the commission
annexed the property by
request of Paducah Power, TVA and
A city-owned PPS peaking plant is on the property,
which Paducah officials contend should be within city
limits. City Commissioner Gerald Watkins said the city
spent about $500,000 on electrical infrastructure for the
plant, which the company is paying back in lieu of tax money now that the plant is in the city.
Mayor Bill Paxton said
the city commissioners
were simply trying to do
the right thing.
"We certainly weren't
trying to do anything
wrong here. We certainly
think we followed the law," Paxton said Wednesday. "We think Paducah Power
should have its peaking
plant inside the city limits.
We feel it was a legal way to
annex the property."
The response contains
13 defenses. They include
that the county does not
own any of the property included
in the annexation,
thus the McCracken Fiscal
Court did not need to consent
to the action and does
not have a legal say in it.
The response also said that
the county waited too long
to sue after the annexation,
which became final Dec. 31,
for the claims to be valid.
Newberry said he had not
seen the city's response and
declined to comment.
Watkins said the next
step is for the judge to hold
a hearing on the matter
and then issue a response.
Several residents living
adjacent to the annexed
area oppose the annexation.
They fear property
values will decrease.
A group of Hendron firefighters
also oppose the
annexation. The property
was part of the fire district,
and owners of the peaking
plant and the railroad paid
taxes to it. The firefighters
are concerned about a loss
Watkins said the city
plans to talk with the firefighters
and try to alleviate
Contact Mallory Panuska,
a Paducah Sun staff
writer, at 270-575-8684.