The city of Wallins has been a city in name only for years, and now a petition has been filed with the Harlan Circuit Court to dissolve the city.
An order was filed by Harlan Circuit Court Judge Kent Hendrickson on Dec. 4 setting a hearing in the matter on Jan. 8.
According to the order, the petitioner, Tony Felosi, seeks the dissolution of the city of Wallins on the grounds that Wallins has failed to maintain a city government, ceased to have officers either appointed or elected and stopped the levying and collection of taxes. As a result of this, the petitioner asserts the city of Wallins is out of compliance with the National Flood Insurance Plan, meaning that no Wallins resident will be able to purchase flood insurance and existing flood insurance policies will not be renewed. The petitioner also asserts Wallins will be ineligible for federal grants or loans, federal disaster assistance to repair insurable building and certain mortgage insurance or loan guarantees in identified flood hazard areas.
The order states a bona fide resident of a city is entitled to file a petition for dissolution if that city is failing to maintain a government and the petition meets certain conditions. Those conditions, according to Kentucky state law, includes the following: If any city fails for one year to maintain a city government by both the election or appointment of officers and levying and collection of necessary taxes it shall be dissolved by judgment of the Circuit Court on petition filed by a bona fide resident of the city.
The order mentions any resident of the city may contest any petition for dissolution, and a city cannot be dissolved until notice has been published setting a date by which motion for intervention may be filed and equitable disposition of all assets of the city and discharged of all obligations of the city has been made and approved by the court.
Interested Wallins residents may attend the Jan. 8 hearing.
The order states the purpose of the hearing is to consider evidence whether the city of Wallins should be dissolved and to “hear from those persons challenging the petition of dissolution and whether the challenges provide a sufficient basis to prevent dissolution.”
The petitioner is to be prepared to present a plan for equitable disposition of all assets of the city and provide evidence the city has no outstanding obligation or liabilities.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde