By Sam Elliott
As the battle over Perry Township drags on, the town’s legal fees continue to pile up.
The Zionsville Town Council will hold a public hearing and discuss a resolution Dec. 7 that would appropriate funds to cover legal fees that are more than double what was allocated in the 2015 budget.
“This year, we budgeted $200,000 for administrative legal [fees]and we’re up to about $420,000,” Town Manager Ed Mitro said. “We’re $220,000 over our budget and of that, about $175,000 is the litigation with Whitestown. Litigation is not cheap.”
The town’s 2015 legal fees are much higher than previous years thanks in large part to litigation surrounding the ongoing land dispute with Whitestown over Perry Township, which has made its way to the Indiana Supreme Court. The court heard oral arguments but has not decided if it will rule on the matter.
Zionsville will face additional legal fees should the Supreme Court take the case, but Mitro said it’s impossible to predict how much more that would cost.
Earlier this year, Whitestown moved $400,000 from unappropriated cash reserves to cover its mounting legal fees.
Mitro and other town officials are hopeful the Supreme Court will rule soon.
“We’re closing in on the end here, whatever that end is going to be,” Mitro said. “This has gone on and we need to move on with our lives. Whatever the decision, everybody I think just wants to get there.”