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The Lake News Online
  • County's P&Z legal fees balloon to $90K

  • With just weeks to go in the 2013 budget, the Camden County Planning and Zoning department is running about $40,000 over what was budgeted for legal expenses.
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  • With just weeks to go in the 2013 budget, the Camden County Planning and Zoning department is running about $40,000 over what was budgeted for legal expenses.
    Camden County Commissioners Kris Franken and Bev Thomas as well as Planning Director Don Hathaway declined to answer questions on why the department is seeing a rise in legal costs.
    Camden County budgeted a total of $50,000 for planning and zoning legal expenses for 2013. With the end of the year fast approaching, the department has spent approximately $90,000. The planning and zoning department is represented by Husch and Blackwell of Jefferson City.
    Associate Commissioner Cliff Luber said based on the projected figures, the planning and zoning department will not increase the line item in the 2014 budget. It will remain at $50,000. The county uses funds from a miscellaneous government fund to cover the additional legal costs, he said.
    Planning and zoning has come up against a number of legal issues in 2013, including an ongoing legal battle with Gary Prewitt, the developer/owner of Lazy Gators. However, officials have declined to say what other planning and zoning issues have caused the spike in expenses.
    It is unclear whether the issues that arose in 2013 that caused the spike in legal expenses will be resolved by the end of the year.
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