Mayor Richard Clark and members of the council say their handsare tied, and wish they could fix the situation without giving awaypublic land.

However, the cost of the lawsuit, compounding at 12% interest,is too much. Residents would have to pay $237 more a year in taxes,on average, if the city had to charge them to pay the debt.

"No resident in the community did anything to deserve thissituation," saidthe council in a letter to the residents. "Wedetest that this matter evolved to the present circumstances."

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