Kentucky Fire Department Sued For Breaching Lease

Today’s burning question: Our fire department has been leasing property for our fire station for $1 per year. Do we actually have to pay the $1 every year?

Answer: If you don’t, you risk a lawsuit by the owner who may that claim that since you breached the lease, you owe him more than just a dollar a year. He may seek to have the lease nullified.

A Kentucky fire department that has been leasing property since 1995 for $1 per year, is being sued for failing to make the required lease payments. Roger Howard claims the Isonville Volunteer Fire Department has not made lease payments since 2000. He is suing the department in Elliott County District Court.

The property in question was part of a larger parcel originally owned by a member of the department, Willis Lyon. He agreed to the lease arrangement with the department. Lyon died in 2001 and his daughter sold it to Howard.

According to the Daily Independent, an engine, tanker and brush truck are housed on the property, which it repeatedly refers to as a “garage”. The Daily Independent cited a confidential source that claims Howard is seeking to obtain possession of the garage for personal use.

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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