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Judge to rule July 12 on whether citizens' group should raise millions to maintain suit

File photo: Allen County Courthouse
Rebecca Green
/
WBOI News
File photo

Indiana Tax Court Special Judge Heather A. Welch will rule by July 12 on whether the group Allen County Residents Against the Jail needs to raise a multi-million dollar bond to continue its lawsuit against the funding plan for the new jail.

The group sued in April against the Allen County Commissioners, the building corporation and the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, or DLGF.

They alleged it is improper to use the historic Allen County Courthouse as collateral for a construction bond from the building corporation, even though the DLGF approved the funding plan.

Allen County is building a new 300-million-dollar jail in response to a federal court order to address the unconstitutional conditions of the current jail in downtown Fort Wayne.

The lawsuit over the funding plan has effectively halted construction, raising costs.

Because of that, the county and DLGF want the plan’s opponents to raise a multi-million dollar bond to offset what they said is about $90 million in increased costs.

The attorney for the citizens’ group said requiring such a bond above $10,000 or $20,000 would stop the case cold.

The next tax court hearing is scheduled for Aug. 9.

A remote status hearing has been scheduled for June 24 in the federal case.

Tony Sandleben joined the WBOI News team in September of 2022.