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City of Guntersville in legal battle over renovation project at City Harbor

A Guntersville man says they don’t have the right to lease the eight acres of public land.

Posted: Aug 19, 2019 8:46 PM
Updated: Aug 19, 2019 8:47 PM

The city of Guntersville is wrapped up in a legal battle over a renovation project at City Harbor.

Plans for the development at the harbor include retail space, restaurants and short-term rental condos. The problem is the city is being sued because a Guntersville man says they don’t have the right to lease the eight acres of public land.

The plot of land crews are working on right now isn’t part of the lawsuit. That's why crews were able to start work in the last few days. Even though the lawsuit was dismissed by the judge, the mayor's office says the plaintiff has appealed, so the legal battle will continue.

“It has been appeal, so it will be appealed to the Supreme Court, so it will be a very lengthy and costly appeal process," Leigh Dollar, the mayor of Guntersville, said.

We asked Mayor Dollar how much this process could cost tax payers, and she said that depends on how long it takes.

According to court documents, the plaintiff is a Guntersville resident, Joel Kennamer. Documents show he claims the city doesn’t have the right to lease the land without a public vote, because the land is used for public recreation.

People WAAY 31 talked with on Monday said they’d like to see more development.

"We could always use more restaurants. I think anything that is moving into Guntersville will be a plus,” Mario Munoz, who lives in Marshall County, said.

We reached out to the Kennamer's attorney, and we haven’t heard back yet.

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