Officials in Wausau transferred $62,000 to the legal budget from its general fund this month to help pay for outside legal fees, the second such transfer in five months.
The city had budgeted $73,000 for outside legal fees in 2016 for special projects not handled by Wausau’s two staff attorneys, Anne Jacobson and Tara Alfonso. Outside attorneys typically handle large projects that require specific expertise.
But those funds turned out to be insufficient, as legal bills are continuing to mount. In March, officials approved a $35,000 transfer in funds leftover from last year.
The biggest expense so far is a lawsuit against the village of Maine, filed in February. Wausau officials allege Maine violated open meetings laws when planning to incorporate, a move approved by voters in December. Wausau is asking the court to nix Maine’s incorporation as well as its boundary planning process to absorb the village of Brokaw. So far, the legal bills related to the lawsuit have ratcheted up to more than $100,000, according to city documents.
Additional legal fees surrounding the Maine lawsuit are expected, as the matter remains unresolved.