Breach of contract action filed against Rutland

POMEROY — A breach of contract complaint has been filed against the Village of Rutland on behalf of the Meigs County Commissioners.

The action was filed with the Meigs County Clerk of Courts on Tuesday by Prosecutor James K. Stanley prior to a scheduled status hearing in the previously filed preliminary injunction case regarding the “Old Bus Garage” property.

Attorneys for both side met in judges chambers before leaving the court without the case going on the record.

Stanley told the Sentinel that dates were set for future hearings and mediation in the case.

Court records indicate that a status conference is scheduled for April 4, with a final pretrial on Nov. 16.

The commissioners had been granted a preliminary injunction against the village in the case filed in late January, preventing the village from selling, conveying or otherwise transferring the “Old Bus Garage” property.

The village had reportedly agreed to sell the property, along with the log cabin property which sits in front of the old bus garage, to Dollar General. That sale was to close in late January 2017, prompting the action for the preliminary injunction to be filed by the commissioners.

The county contends that the property should have been transferred to the county as part of the water and sewer department assets previously acquired.

Now, the commissioners have filed the breach of contract action asking for the court to force the transfer of the property to the county, as well as possible monetary damaged, attorney fees and costs and any other relief the court sees fit.

The complaint outlines many of the same arguments as the preliminary injunction claim, stating that the county had taken over the village water and sewer operations by way of a contract approved by the parties in 2012.

The old bus garage had been used for storage by the village for the water and sewer department, and continued to be used for the same purpose by the county after the county had acquired the system. That reportedly changed in the late summer of 2016 when the sewer and water items were removed from the building and the locks subsequently changed.

While the property was not deeded to the county, records and previous testimony indicate that the county had been paying the electric bill for the building.

In the preliminary injunction ruling in February, Judge Dean Evans, who was assigned to the case, stated, “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. Possession of the premises was given to the commissioners which continued to use the property for storage of equipment and supplies.”

Evans also noted 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.

The Village of Rutland is represented by attorneys Richard Clagg and Rusty Miller, both of Wellston.

By Sarah Hawley

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