City of Lawrence to bring lawsuits against a restaurant and a company that received incentives

After meeting in executive session, the Lawrence City Commission directed city staff to pursue litigation on two issues, one related to a downtown restaurant and the other to a company that received local incentives.

The commission met in executive session about the litigation as part of its meeting Tuesday evening and made motions to take legal action against the entities. Both motions passed unanimously.

• As part of the first motion, the commission directed the city attorney to bring an action against the owner and occupant of 623 Vermont St., which is the location of Dempsey’s Burger Pub. The action will declare that the property’s canopy structure is a nuisance and will order that the structure be removed or come into compliance with the city’s building code, according to the motion.

• The commission then directed the city attorney to bring an action against Integrated Animal Health Inc., which is a company that received startup funding from the city and county. The Journal-World recently reported that the Kansas branch of the Australia-based company appears to have closed its Lawrence headquarters. In 2015, the City of Lawrence and Douglas County approved incentives for the company, including a $100,000 grant, subject to a three-year performance agreement. The action will seek to recoup one-third of the grant, in accordance with the city’s economic development policy and the grant agreement if the company does not come into compliance with the agreement by May 31, according to the motion.


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