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OLDHAM COUNTY, KY. (WDRB) -- An unusual fight among an entire community in Oldham County that has been growing for more than a year ended Thursday morning in Louisville courtroom. It means Kentucky will not get a new city.
Gary Keibler owns Hemmer Hill Farm and leads a group that's trying to form a new city called the Village of Brownsboro. He explains, "Currently we have no representation in Oldham County government at any level."
Boundaries would run from I-71 around exit 14 to Harrods Creek. Petitions began circulating among the 400 plus neighbors affected in December 2011. The committee says it gathered support from more than two-thirds of the property owners.
Keibler's neighbor Bessie Klein was not one of them. She says, "I believe we already have the services that we need, provided by our county government."
The disagreement started with a school Oldham County plans to build nearby soon. The same people trying to form the new city rallied against the school and lost. Andrew Howell, the petitioners' attorney, explains, "The petitioners would like the opportunity to manage and plan for this development."
It fractured the community so much that the judge in Oldham County recused herself, and the new appointee admonished a packed courtroom about people putting pressure on those involved.
Judge Martin McDonald of Jefferson Circuit Court says, "I had received a number of ex parte improper communication, from the County Judge Executive of Oldham County to various community groups. You can stop! Today is the end of it."
Judge McDonald found fatal flaws in the petition, siding with Bessie Klein's lawyers and dismissing the case. Klein's attorney John Clubb says, "The description changed, the acreage changed, the assessed value changed, and there's only one new signature added."
Kleiber says, "I believe the people that are opposing it don't really understand the amount of change that is coming to them and now they're not going to have a voice in how that change occurs."
Bessie Klein's reaction: "I hope life can return to the nice quiet life it once was with neighbors getting along."
The judge told the committee it could correct the errors in its petition and try again to form a city. Keibler says he doesn't know if he will.