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Greentop Fire scores win in case against Adair County Commission

A judge ruled partially in favor of the Greentop Volunteer Fire Association on Oct. 31 (Photo: KTVO)

A judge has ruled in favor of a northeast Missouri fire association, scoring a big win in the association’s case against county officials.

Last week, Judge Terry Tschannen agreed with the Greentop Volunteer Fire Association’s claim that the Adair County Commission has no say over county fire protection boundaries. Those borders divide the fire protection districts within the county. In September 2016, the fire association filed suit against the county over the boundaries that had been approved in the 2014 county plat book.

In a March 2014 letter, the commission outlined the fire protection borders, but the fire association maintained that the boundaries had been implemented without its consent.

“…the letter to the extent it seeks to establish, alter, maintain, or otherwise approve the Adair County fire protection boundaries is completely meaningless and not binding for any purpose,” Tschannen said in the order.

Tschannen said that there is “absolutely no legal viability of any kind” to support the commission’s view that it could approve fire protection boundaries.

“The Missouri legislature has provided a detailed statutory scheme to address issues involving county fire protection districts,” the order explains. “Those statutes give the Commission no part in that process.”

In a Facebook message Wednesday, Greentop Fire Association board member Sarah Crawford told KTVO that because the order voids the borders as approved by the commission, it will effectively revert the fire protection districts to those last approved in 1993 -- Greentop, Green Castle and the Eastern Fire Protection Districts.

Other parts of the suit remain unresolved. The fire association also accused Adair County Clerk Sandy Collop and the commissioners of violating Missouri Sunshine Laws.

A trial over those allegations is set for March 29, 2018.

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