After a contentious few months, leaders from the city of Powell and Liberty Township soon are expected to meet in person for the first time in nearly five years.

City spokeswoman Megan Canavan said township leaders reached out the afternoon of March 12 to confirm they were interested in a meeting between the two bodies, known as the committee of the whole.

The last committee of the whole meeting took place in July 2014, Canavan said.

The township suggested a mid-April meeting, she said.

The correspondence comes on the heels of a cease-and-desist letter, extensive public-records requests and the threat of a lawsuit from the city, all stemming from Liberty Township's conversation about whether to hand over township emergency medical services to Delaware County.

In December, Powell sent its first letter to Liberty Township, citing a 2002 agreement between Powell and the township called the Cooperative Economic Development Agreement.

According to the letter, the township "knowingly and purposefully (initiating) negotiations with Delaware County to contract for EMS services and cease township EMS services" would "amount to a default under Article 6, Section 1 of the CEDA."

In January and February, the city sent 17 different public-records requests to the township, asking for communications sent and received by trustees, performance reviews and other documents regarding former medical director Warren Yamarick, and a variety of other documents.

In a Feb. 21 letter, City Manager Steve Lutz threatened legal action if the requests were not answered.

"If it is forced to, the City will not hesitate to use the legal remedies at its disposal to ensure that it receives a complete response to its records request," the letter read.

Despite requesting those documents by March 8, Liberty Township responded to the request with 1,700 pages of records March 12.

Finally, in a March 1 letter, the city requested a joint meeting "to discuss recent concerns with the Cooperative Economic Development Agreement (CEDA) and the future of emergency medical services."

With an answer received, Canavan said the city is working to put the meeting together.

"That's still the plan, to move forward with that discussion," she said.

Mayor Jon Bennehoof said he couldn't talk much about the potential meeting or its topics, but said scheduling it at all was a positive.

"Any time there's a committee of the whole meeting, it means there's an opportunity for progress," he said.

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