The following press release was sent to the Bloomingtonian Wednesday:
” FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
County Residents Begin Raising Funds to Take Annexation Fight to Court
March, 02 2022 (Bloomington, IN) – A group of local citizens has begun raising funds to fight annexation by the city of Bloomington. As of today, more than 23 people had donated a total of more than $2000 to hire an attorney to represent them in a fight against what they view as unwanted and unjust efforts by the city to bring them into the city’s tax base.
Residents of areas 1A and 1B achieved enough petitions for remonstrance to have the annexation attempt by the city of Bloomington ruled by a judge, with results of 60.94% in area 1A and 57.50% in area 1B but have a narrow time frame to complete fundraising. According to state law, a hearing must be filed with the Monroe Circuit Court no later than fifteen working days after the Monroe County Auditor’s certified remonstrance results, which were released on February 23rd, 2022.
Van Buren Trustee Rita Barrow said, “To get legal help the attorney will require at least $10,000 to present your case.” Which was received with questions of the creation of a GoFundMe to coordinate and allow residents to assist in the hiring of counsel.
Van Buren resident, Lee Lawmaster answered the call to action and created a GoFundMe to help his neighbors and fellow Van Buren neighbors in area 1A. Lee is quoted as stating, “
I, like many of you, am doing everything I can to stop this.”
Remonstrators from areas 1A and 1B are encouraged to donate if they would like to proceed with legal action. Per Indiana Code 36-4-3-11.6, If the court orders an annexation not to take place after a hearing under section 11 of this chapter, the remonstrators shall be reimbursed by the annexing municipality for any reasonable attorney’s fees, including litigation expenses and appeal costs: not to exceed thirty-seven thousand five hundred dollars ($37,500).
In the case that the donation goal is not met, all donations will be refunded to their respective donors. The donated funds will only be withdrawn by counsel hired to represent the remonstrators.
The GoFundMe can be found at the following URL: https://gofund.me/66bb55b6″