A group of landowners near Ohio's largest inland lake asked the state Supreme Court on Thursday to order state officials to compensate them for their losses from flooding.
The court ruled in December that the state Natural Resources Department was required to compensate 87 landowners near Grand Lake St. Marys in western Ohio. Since then, lawyers for the landowners allege, the state has been dragging its feet. But a spokeswoman for the state agency said Thursday the owners' court filing is without merit.
The state "counts on endless delay to work to its advantage, blunting this court's ruling and allowing it to escape paying full and fair compensation," Joe Miller, a Columbus attorney for the landowners, said in a court filing.
The state "has been flooding their land for 15 years and is counting on it taking 15 more years to pay compensation," Miller wrote.
Miller says a settlement offer earlier this year of about $24 million, or about $5,000 per acre, was a charade meant to prevent the landowners from filing their complaint earlier.