SANDPOINT, Idaho -

Bonner County commissioners have declared a financial emergency to allow the county to use money from a contingency account to fend off a federal lawsuit.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports (http://bit.ly/1ay2989) the commissioners made the decision Wednesday so the county can use money in the county's justice fund.

The county budgeted $400,000 in the current fiscal year and will now have another $450,000 for a total of $850,000.

Developers of an upscale, fly-in housing development called Silverwing at Sandpoint sued the county in May 2012 contending they had not been treated fairly.

Commissioner Mike Nielsen says an adverse judgment could cost taxpayers up to $26 million.

Nielsen says a trial is planned in federal court in the spring.