At Monday's Pottawatomie County Board of County Commissioners meeting, the commissioners unanimously approved the assumption of two existing leases, including Solara and the Pottawatomie County Health Department. The county will also purchase the lease that St. Anthony Shawnee has with the Hospital Authority for $835,000.

At Monday's Pottawatomie County Board of County Commissioners meeting, the commissioners unanimously approved the assumption of two existing leases, including Solara and the Pottawatomie County Health Department. The county will also purchase the lease that St. Anthony Shawnee has with the Hospital Authority for $835,000.

The property in which these services occupy is 1900 and 1904 Gordon Cooper Drive. The land was once part of Citizen Potawatomi Nation, but in 1959 the Secretary of the Interior deeded the land to Pottawatomie County as long as the land was used for a school or other public purposes.

Last Friday, the county commissioners' office was contacted by CPN with the threat of a federal lawsuit, District 1 County Commissioner Melissa Dennis confirmed. A draft of the lawsuit was dropped off at the commissioners office.

CPN believes the land is not being used in the correct manner. CPN Chairman John “Rocky” Barrett issued a statement regarding the potential lawsuit.

"The Citizen Potawatomi Nation deeply values the goodwill and vital working relationship with the Pottawatomie County Commissioners,” Barrett said. “The Mission Hill Hospital dispute has continued for more than 15 years, however, and must be resolved in a lawful and equitable manner. This isn't 1889, it is 2017. Tribal land can't just be taken away and misused without fair and equal treatment under the law. This isn't an old treaty dispute; it is an abuse of modern law that has happened in my lifetime.”

Barrett confirmed a draft of the potential lawsuit was delivered to the county commissioners.

“The Citizen Potawatomi Nation gave a draft pleading to the Pottawatomie County commissioners to remind them of our legal interest in the Mission Hill property,” Barrett said. “We have not filed a lawsuit, and it is our intent to continue to work with all parties to reach a resolution. However, Pottawatomie County was given this property under the mandatory legal requirement that it would be used by the County exclusively for a public purpose, as required by Federal Law. The County has not used the property only for a public purpose in many years, as affirmed by the Department of Interior in 2012. Per the federal statute, if the land is no longer used for a public purpose then it reverts back to the original owner -- the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.”

The Pottawatomie County Health Department, Solara and the Family Justice Center currently occupy the property on Gordon Cooper Drive.

County commissioners plan to discuss the issue further. Watch for updates and more information soon on this story.