Preliminary injunction granted in case against Village of Rutland

By Sarah Hawley -

POMEROY — The Village of Rutland will not be able to complete the sale of the former bus garage property at this time, after a ruling on Thursday in favor of the preliminary injunction requested by the Meigs County Commissioners.

The ruling by Visiting Judge Dean Evans came following last Friday’s hearing the case in which Meigs County Prosecutor James K. Stanley represented the commissioners, with the Village of Rutland represented by attorneys Richard Clagg and Rusty Miller.

In the entry file stamped Thursday, Evans writes, that based on the evidence, the court finds that the commissioners “should be granted a preliminary injunction, enjoining defendants, their agents, or employees from selling, transferring, or otherwise conveying the subject property.”

According to court documents and testimony at the hearing, the village had entered into an agreement to sell the property where the old bus garage is located to Dollar General.

Referring to the property in question as the “Old Bus Barn,” Evans writes that the underlying claims for relief in the case are for breach of contract, together with a request for specific performance regarding certain real property situated in the village.

The commissioners contend that the property, while it was not deeded to the county, is part of the water and sewer department which the county took over by way of a contract approved in 2012. Prior to that time, and after the county took over the system, the building was utilized as a storage facility for equipment and parts for the sewer and water system.

Evans stated in the entry that evidence presented in the case showed that on or about April 26, 2012, the village of Rutland agreed to transfer ownership of the village’s water and sewer systems along with all assets, debts, right of ways, easements and permits to the commissioners, who in turn agreed to pay off and satisfy certain loans with regard to the system.

“Allegedly, included in the assets to be transferred to the commissioners was a certain tract of real property upon which a building, commonly referred to as the ‘Old Bus Barn’ stood, which was used for storage of equipment and supplies by the village in conjunction with its operation of the water/sewer operation,” Evans wrote. “Possession of the premises was given to the commissioners which continued to use the property for storage of equipment and supplies.”

Evans also notes that although the property was never deeded to the commissioners the village had a survey done around March 26, 2014, and the electric had been transferred to the commissioners.

When the county learned that the sale of the property was anticipated to take place in late January, the motion for a preliminary injunction was filed, rather than a breach of contract or other action.

As for what happens next, Stanley said he would be meeting with the commissioners before determining the next step in the matter.

By Sarah Hawley

Reach Sarah Hawley at 740-992-2155 ext. 2555 or on Twitter @SarahHawleyNews.

Reach Sarah Hawley at 740-992-2155 ext. 2555 or on Twitter @SarahHawleyNews.