St. Paul, MN, Friday March 29, 2024.

The legal case brought forth by the group “Fairmont Taxpayers Coalition for Government Transparency” (Coalition) against the City of Fairmont has been thrown out of Federal court and dismissed.

In less than 25 minutes, the Honorable David T. Schilitz, the presiding magistrate overhearing the case, stated that he was dismissing the federal claims in the lawsuit and was declining to retain jurisdiction over the state claims. As soon as he issues his official order, which will be in short-order, the federal lawsuit will be officially over.

The Coalition, spearheaded by Mark Ossenfort, Todd Smith, and registered agent Charles (CJ) W. Johnson III, filed this suit against the city on November 29, 2023. The Coalition was seeking to eliminate the sales tax, which was passed through the 2016 referendum, and serves as a funding source for the Community Center project.

“This ruling by the federal court will end yet another futile attempt by the Coalition. The Foundation continues to be concerned with the Coalition’s desire to waste local taxpayer dollars, city administration time and resources, and the community’s patience waiting for such a valuable resource for the community to be built. We can’t let such petty actions by these few individuals drag down the enthusiasm and importance of this facility for the broader community. We are grateful for the Judge’s decision.”

-John Kasper, Chair, Fairmont Area Community Center Foundation

With the Federal legal case dismissed, the City and the Fairmont Area Community Center Foundation now turn the corner to bring the Community Center to life. “The sad reality is this lawsuit cost the project time and money by hindering the construction timeline and progress on our funding sources,” remarked Kasper. With the roadblock now removed, the City and the Foundation can now work aggressively to get back on track. More news and updates will be published as progress is made in the coming weeks and months.

Individuals and businesses are asked to continue to show their support for the Fairmont Area Community Center by publicly voicing their support, whether in person, on social media, by contacting their city council member, or by making a financial pledge towards the project.

Thank You For Visiting!

Thank You For Visiting!

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