Settlement near in water works suit

STEUBENVILLE – City Council will consider emergency legislation at Tuesday night’s regular meeting to settle an eight-year-old, $2.5 million lawsuit against DLZ Ohio for work on the city’s raw water pump station and filtration plant.

Law Director S. Gary Repella said the lawsuit was tentatively settled during a mitigation meeting last week in Pittsburgh. The lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial before Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge Joseph Bruzzese on June 17.

The tentative agreement calls for DLZ to pay the city $1 million within 30 days of approval of the agreement by council. A second $1 million dollar payment is scheduled to be made on or before Jan. 1 and the final $500,000 on or before July 1, 2015.

The agreement requires DLZ Ohio to dismiss with prejudice its counter claims against the city and its cross claims against co-defendant Shield Environmental Services Inc., also known as Cardinal Resources.

An attorney for DLZ Ohio said Wednesday afternoon he preferred to wait until members of council approved the settlement Tuesday before commenting on the case.

Cardinal Resources reached a settlement agreement to pay $540,000 to the city. Council approved a high-low settlement agreement and release with Cardinal Resources at the March 18 council meeting.

A message was left for the owner of the Pittsburgh based Cardinal Resources.

“DLZ started working on the raw water pump station in the late 1990s. The pump station came online in 2004. When the pump station work was completed and we realized we had problems, we terminated the contract for the filtration plant,” explained Repella.

“After we terminated the contract with DLZ, we entered into a contract with Cardinal Resources. We continued to have problems with the pump station and then hired MWH Constructors to fix the pump station problems and to build the new filtration plant on University Boulevard,” continued Repella.

“Our problems came when the pumps were shut down. The water would start flowing back to the pump station from the reservoir and we would have hammering pipes,” cited Repella.

“I am satisfied we were able to reach an agreement on this case and I will be more satisfied when we collect the last payment. The money we collect from the settlement will go into the city’s water fund. The city manager and finance director will review the money payments and the two loans we took out for the construction and remediation of the pump station,” said Repella.

“Attorney Rob D’Anniballe assisted with the legal preparation for the lawsuit and I appreciate his help,” Repella noted.