At a Mullinville City Council meeting on Monday, May 7, following a 65-minute executive session with City Attorney Jan Jorns and Brad Zimmermann of Zimmermann Title and Abstract, Mayor Andy Kimble and the four attending city council members Kristie Odle, Tom Daniels, Dee McDonald and Jary Bohme expressed their belief that a contested section of Pine Street had never been officially vacated by the city, there by legally making the street city property.
“Following extensive research at the courthouse it was determined that the original ordinance that vacated that portion of Pine Street was never filed with the county,” said Kimble. “They found a map that showed it had been vacated, but no official document stating that it had been vacated.”
The small section of Pine Street south of Wall Street is believed to have been vacated in a sweeping 1898 journal entry, which vacated large sections of Mullinville (see The Signal “Street plan still a question mark” March 21, 2012).
Kimble said that the journal entry did not include the contested portion of Pine Street.
It was unclear how many of the adjacent land owners would have agreed to process a quitclaim deed, which was requested by the city during an April 2 city council meeting.
“We never got to the point [of receiving any quitclaim deeds] on Pine Street,” said Kimble who remarked that the issue of a Pine Street vacation, or lack there of, is — as far as the city is concerned — finished.
“That is what we are trying to do with the [Elm Street] situation as well. We’re trying to get it put to bed once and for all,” added Kimble.
City officials have been engaged in a complicated legal process for months in an attempt to make legal what it feels are city streets.
This was the second misfiled city ordinance. The first was identified as city ordinance No.119, passed on Nov. 17, 1949, which purports to reopen a contested section of Elm Street.
That ordinance was never filed with the Register of Deeds Office either, as required by law. The misfiling of that ordinance was one of the arguments made by Elm Street landowner and local artist M.T. Liggett in March who claims the street is still his.
Kimble didn’t comment of specifics, but said the city is currently preparing quitclaim deeds to mail to the landowners along Elm Street.
When asked if he had spoken to any of the Elm Street landowners Kimble said he hadn’t recently and declined to speculate on possible quitclaim signers.