Latest developments in the RIB lawsuit:
At the end of last week the court denied without prejudice Wright-Pierce’s request for leave to file a motion to extend the dates for discovery and trial. Long story short, they asked for leave to file instead of just filing the motion. They rebounded with the correct procedure to file the motion and there it sits as of Friday. Basically it extends the dates for the completion of discovery and asks to reschedule the trial to April 7. Wolfeboro says they can do April 7.
Looking at the budget requests for 2014, it looks like Public Works is asking for another $500,000 next year to continue the lawsuit. According to the budget report, they spent #132,804 in 2012, and $233,985 to date in 2013. If they get the depositioning cranked up in November and December as required by the new proposed schedule, I expect they will burn through most of this year’s $500,000 budget. So add another half million next year for trial and we will probably spend more than a million on this lawsuit.
In February the Town Manager stated to me:
The proposed 2013 operating budget contains a line item in the sewer fund of $500,000 in legal costs to see this litigation through to its conclusion.
Hope they know what they’re doing. In their latest filing, WP says Wolfeboro will not agree to arbitration [11/6/2013 – correction, the filing referenced mediation, not arbitration]. Heaven forbid a neutral third party listens to the hyped up claims and tells the actual clients that they should settle. There are a lot of fees to be collected in conducting depositions, preparing and conducting a trial. Call me a cynic but is it possible that the fees that will be collected by the lawyers could exceed the cost of a reasonable fix to our waste water problems?
I’ll probably be voting no on the budget again this year because of this huge line item.