Legal bill escalates. More yet?

Last updated 05:00 01/12/2012

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A legal battle between Waimate District Council and Waimate's Keith Williams continues in Timaru District Court.

The matter was reviewed by the court registrar yesterday and no trial date has yet been set.

The case dates back at least two years.

Four charges were laid in July this year when the council took civil action.

Williams was charged with failing to apply for a certificate of acceptance and failing to comply with a notice to fix.

The council went to court over building permit work on a garage wall but the judge declined to hear the case as the chief executive did not have the delegated authority to lay charges.

A breakdown in legal costs over the Waimate building then revealed a $56,840 bill for ratepayers.

The case has cost $54,862 plus $1978 in disbursements in just over a year and could increase significantly.

Mr Williams is seeking costs from the council, which could push the bill as high as $150,000 if the council loses. The Herald revealed in August that the matter could have been settled with a $287 determination.

Had that course been followed the decision would have been binding on both parties.

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- The Timaru Herald

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