UPDATE: Law Firm Sends ‘Cease and Desist’ Request to Board of Regents Over Missoula College [DOCUMENTS]
A Missoula law firm, Sullivan, Tabaracci and Rhodes, has sent a cease and desist request dated May 5, 2013 to Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian and the Montana Board of Regents, enjoining the construction of the Missoula College on the South Campus, the current location of The University of Montana Golf Course.
According to what was written in the document:
"The construction, as currently proposed, is illegal under Montana law for several reasons. Primary among them, Montana law requires the Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education to develop the donated lands only 'for the specific purpose of the ...donation.'"
The letter also claims the original intent of the donated land be used for students' recreational purposes.
"The land in question was acquired by the 'Alumni Challenge Athletic Field Corporation' in 1928 with a specific object; to supply UM with athletic fields, 'for student recreational purposes."'
The five-page letter concludes with the statement, "The Missoula College campus cannot be located, legally, as presently proposed."
Attorney Quentin Rhoades called in to KGVO Radio's Talk Back program on Monday morning, May 5. Listen to his comments below.
Vice President for Integrated Communications for The University of Montana Peggy Kuhr responded to the letter on Monday morning.
"The package of information regarding the cease and desist request did not come to the president, and it was not sent to legal counsel here at U of M, but has now been forwarded to us from the commissioner's office," Kuhr said. "I am sure that the university and the commissioner and their offices will respond appropriately and very soon."
Kuhr has been working with the regents during the legislative session.
"We here at the university, purposely did not move ahead with discussions regarding a new Missoula College building simply because the legislature was in session and they needed to do their work," Kuhr said. "Now that we have a commitment on funding, that work on siting and discussions with the community resumes, and obviously this latest development in no way changes our intent to work together with the community and the neighborhoods for a common sense solution."
Vice President for Integrated Communications for The University of Montana Peggy Kuhr
HB 5, the bill containing $29 million dollars to fund construction of the Missoula College, is on Governor Steve Bullock's desk waiting for his signature. Since Monday is the deadline for signing bills, if he does not sign it by 5 p.m., it will automatically become law.