Levy Court commissioners agreed with insurance company terms May 20 to pay $161,622 in plaintiff legal fees in connection with losing last year’s Coastal Preservation Zone lawsuit.


    Levy Court commissioners agreed with insurance company terms May 20 to pay $161,622 in plaintiff legal fees in connection with losing last year’s Coastal Preservation Zone lawsuit.

    A judge ruled in March the county must pay Farmers for Fairness for its legal fees. The group of Kent County farmers filed suit in protest of a coastal preservation zone they believed devalued their property, which the court later affirmed.

    The county’s insurance carrier, Travelers, agreed to pay 80% of the total leaving the remaining 20%, or $32,424.41, for the county to pay.

    “The money will come out of the contingency fund,” said Commissioner Allan F. Angel.

    The group of farmers that make up Farmers for Fairness welcomed the award. It either will be split among the group or be put in an escrow account to cover future litigation costs, said Farm Bureau Administrator Wally Caulk.

    “We’re going to hold our breath because the comprehensive plan is not done yet,” he said.

    In particular, Caulk referred to the county’s recent ban of private sewer treatment sites that resulted in another developer/farmer lawsuit against the county.

    “That’s one thing we need to be changed,” he said. “They should be allowed in the growth zone.”

    Indeed, on the night Levy Court commissioners banned the wastewater systems they said they would revisit at a later date the possibility of allowing private septic systems within the growth zone.

    As of press time, an ordinance to permit the use of community wastewater treatment facilities within the growth zone was to be introduced at the May 27 session of Levy Court.