Updated: Wednesday, 02 Jan 2013, 10:46 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 02 Jan 2013, 6:47 PM EST
VINCENNES, IND. (WTHI) - A court ruling takes a southern Indiana off the hook for a land deal.
More than 2 years ago, then Vincennes Mayor Al Baldwin attempted to buy a parcel of land along 6th Street as part of his effort to build a railroad overpass, but the Vincennes City Council refused to pay for the land and the deal wound up in court.
The judge's decision has upheld the council's action and perhaps put the last issue lingering from the failed overpass project to rest.
Just a few years ago, then Vincennes Mayor Al Baldwin was pushing to build an overpass through the 6th Street corridor.
Baldwin signed a deal with Fred and Judy Froeschke to purchase their property for $327,000.
When the city council refused to approve the deal and pay for the land the Freschke's sued.
"It's unfortunate for the Froeschke's," said Vincennes Attorney David Roellgen who represented the council, but from a technical point of view I think there are 2 branches of government and the executive, in this case the former mayor, got ahead of the people who actually write the checks."
The decision basically puts another nail in the coffin of the old overpass project and the city is making plans to spend that money elsewhere in the community.
"The money has been reprogrammed for Second Street and some railroad crossings," said Roellgen.
Usually, a deal signed with the city is a deal, but Roellgen says it's only a done deal if all branches of government are on the same page.
"If both of those groups are not of a single mind then you don't have a contract. Neither one of them have the authority to enter into those kids of contracts without executive authority or legislative claims paying authority," he explained.
With the city now legally off the hook for the land deal, and the current mayor opposed to building an overpass, the project will be put to rest.
The Froeschke's still have 30 days to appeal the court's decision.
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