PITTSBURG — The dispute between the Pittsburg and Frontenac city governments over a section of Wild Red Road — sometimes erroneously referred to as Wild Berry Road — escalated this week, with Frontenac’s filing of a lawsuit in Crawford County District Court on Tuesday.
According to a copy of the suit obtained by the Morning Sun, Frontenac is seeking a court order that the portion of the road within its city limits — which was built by Pittsburg last year and intersects with East Atkinson Avenue near the Pittsburg Highlands housing development — be removed. Frontenac is also seeking at least $85,000 in damages, as well as for Pittsburg to pay Frontenac’s legal fees associated with the case.
“The Plaintiff seeks an order of the court finding that the actions of the Defendant are unlawful, unauthorized, and without any authority under the law, and further, to allow the Plaintiff to entirely remove that portion of Wild Red Road lying within the city limits of Frontenac. Plaintiff cannot proceed to do so without subjecting itself to harassing and annoying acts on the part of the Defendant, as well as to possible unnecessary litigation,” the lawsuit states.
“Plaintiff cannot, without a breach of the peace, remove any part or all of the Defendant’s offending street from within the city limits of Frontenac as shown by the acts of the Defendant in recently erecting both a street sign and a stop sign on the offending extension of Wild Red Road within the city limits of Frontenac, and of all things, stating that the City of Pittsburg will grant to Plaintiff the authority to enforce its traffic ordinances as to the stop sign that lies within the city limits of Frontenac.”
In response to the lawsuit, Pittsburg City Manager Daron Hall released a brief statement Friday.
“We received a copy of the paperwork today. It will be reviewed and a response will be filed,” Hall said, according to Pittsburg Public Information Manager Sarah Runyon.
Earlier this month, following the Frontenac City Council’s approval of taking legal action against Pittsburg, Deputy City Manager Jay Byers released a statement noting that “Pittsburg City officials met with Frontenac officials to discuss their concerns regarding the paving of an existing gravel approach, which connected Wild Red Road to Atkinson Avenue. City of Pittsburg officials made a proposal to address any concerns the City of Frontenac may have regarding this improvement, and will work with them to address any additional issues not previously discussed.”
Previously, in a June 27 email to Frontenac City Administrator Brad Reams also obtained by the Morning Sun, Hall proposed “a prudent and reasonable solution to the issue” of the portion of Wild Red Road that encroaches on Frontenac’s territory.
“The agreement will designate Pittsburg as the ‘licensee’ requesting an encroachment over the right of way owned by Frontenac for the purposes of an approach and entrance and exit onto and from Wild Red Road, and installation of a stop sign for traffic exiting Wild Berry Road [sic] onto Atkinson Avenue,” Hall proposed in his email.
In response to a request from Frontenac City Clerk Terri Kutz made in late May for a “Copy of authorization to place a stop sign at the north end of connecting road between Wild Red Road and Atkinson Avenue,” Pittsburg City Clerk Tammy Nagel responded that “No document exists which is responsive to this request.”
This was also Nagel’s response to several other requests from Kutz, including those for copies of traffic, storm water, and environmental studies of the road section, a resolution or ordinance authorizing its construction, and permits issued by the City of Pittsburg to a contractor for the work.