It appears residents of the Key RV Park in Marathon, Fla., will have one last chance to settle a lawsuit over sewer fees against the city of Marathon, according to the Florida Keys Keynoter.
The city council held a two-hour closed session after its regular meeting March 23 to discuss settling the case rather than going to trial. It agreed on what’s likely a final offer to residents of the park at mile marker 50.
Councilman Pete Worthington said the offer would be the city’s last attempt at a settlement. Several versions have reportedly been offered, to no avail.
“It’s all up in the air and they have very limited amount of time to make a response. We threw something at them and if it doesn’t’ stick, we’ll see them in court,” Worthington said.
City Attorney John Herin, who can’t comment on case specifics, said the offer “is being worked on.” Key RV attorney Dave Horan told the Keynoter he’s not seen it and knows little about what it includes.
“I don’t know what the specifics are but I would think it has something to do with the way we’re going to get our wastewater connected up. There has to be some kind of a resolution,” Horan said.
Key RV’s homeowners association sued the city in October 2008. It alleges discrimination in assessing the park residents more than $1 million combined to connect to the system, which is still under construction.
The lawsuit essentially boils down to whether it’s legal to charge Key RV’s individual owners the same sewer fees as other equivalent dwelling units (EDU) in the city based on the form of ownership. The park switched to a condominium form of ownership in 2004.
Single-family homeowners in Marathon pay $5,700 per EDU, which is what Key RV residents were slated to pay. There’s also reportedly been wrangling over who will install and be responsible for maintaining sewer lines at the park.
According to Councilman Dick Ramsay, who called for the session, the council’s vote was unanimous on the makings of an offer to send Horan.
“The vote was unanimous at the meeting to make this proposal and we expect in the next few days to have the offer back from our attorney to make sure that’s what we said, and at that point we’ll send it off to Key RV,” Ramsay said.
Ramsay added that there weren’t major changes to the agreement, though public details of the ongoing case are limited.
“I don’t think they were major changes. We’re looking forward to putting this situation to bed and doing so without going to court,” he said.
The lawsuit was thought to be on the verge of settlement in February, but the City Council rejected revisions made by Horan to its latest offer.