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Struewing vs. Village goes to trial

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“It’s an interesting case,” was one of the last statements made by Greene County Magistrate Raymond Dundes at the close of the trial between the Village of Yellow Springs and Miami Township property owners Ken and Betheen Struewing. The trial over municipal utility access rights to the Struewings’ property on the south end of the town began Thursday, July 21, and went through the following morning at the Greene County courthouse. Attorneys for both sides agreed to allow three weeks for written briefs and rebuttle by the end of August, after which the magistrate said he will make a decision “as soon as possible while the case is still fresh in my mind.”

Eight witnesses were called to the stand, including two by absentia, to testify before the court. Several were asked to comment on the character of former Village Manager Howard Kahoe and former Village Solicitor Philip Aultman, who both signed an easement giving Kahoe the right to unlimited Village water and sewer access in exchange for running a Village sewer line under his property. Some witnesses agreed that it seemed “unusual” that the easement was filed 11 years after the sewer line was installed. And both sides maintained their positions. Village attorneys claimed that the Village had no knowledge of the easement, which was created illegally and therefore cannot be validated. The Struewings’ attorney maintained that easements are routinely issued as compensation for utility easements and that none but the one in question was ever found, and therefore must be valid.

More details about the trial will appear in the July 28 issue of the News.





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