Weatherford Democrat

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January 2, 2013

Judge rules against Willow Park

(Continued)

The city has spent roughly $100,000 in legal fees on the E.S. & C.M. case alone, according to Neverdousky.

If the city does have to pay E.S. & C.M., it’s not clear where that money will come from. The city has not budgeted for that possibility and will probably have to set up a reserve fund, according to Neverdousky.

“It’s one of those things you don’t necessarily want to budget for,” Neverdousky said. “It’s kind of like admitting defeat.”

Scott Shanes, attorney representing the city of Willow Park in the case, did not return several messages seeking comment by deadline.

The E.S. & C.M. lawsuit is one of two involving the city currently ongoing in district court in Parker County. Willow Park, along with City of Aledo and the Parker County Appraisal District, is also currently facing a possible class action suit.

That lawsuit centers around city taxes retroactively billed to residents of two subdivisions after there was a failure to add the properties to their respective city tax rolls.

In October 2008, the appraisal district sent bills to the property owners stating that the properties had been “omitted” from the appraisal rolls for the past five years and stating that the city tax total for the previous years was due upon receipt.

After the city of Willow Park filed a collection suit in 2010 against Willow Park Village residents Todd Brennan and Valerie Smith, the owners of one of the affected properties, 13 property owners took the three entities to court over the taxing issue. They hope to have the lawsuit certified as a class action suit for the approximately 300 affected residents, most of whom paid the bills.

An appeal of the Second Court of Appeals decision that the homeowners’ case could be heard in Parker County district court is currently pending in the Texas Supreme Court.

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