WP has filed a new (amended) motion to continue and extend deadlines, and it contains some interesting developments. Recall my post earlier this month where I suggested that there may be a way to remediate the problems at the RIB.
The amended motion says that as far back as December of 2012, WP’s expert witness Haley and Aldrich, Inc. (H&A) offered their opinion that the RIB site could be fixed. The town has said that the fixes offered by WP would be “illegal”. Here is what WP said in the motion:
Since receiving the amended Joint Discovery Plan in May of this year, Wright-Pierce has been working to persuade Wolfeboro to agree to mediate the case, prior to the commencement of costly depositions. Given the complexity of the matter and the alleged damages of $10 million, the parties anticipate conducting as many as thirty depositions (most of which cannot be completed in one day), including expert witnesses. Though Wolfeboro has not stated that it will not participate in mediation, it has not agreed to do so.
As a show of good faith to Wolfeboro that it is confident the site can be remediated and put to good use, Wright-Pierce asked its expert, H&A, to prepare a proposed slope stabilization plan, as recommended in H&A’s initial report. At the expense of Wright-Pierce, H&A performed a geotechnical and hydrogeologic assessment of the site, and prepared a report, dated August 16, 2013, detailing its proposed slope stabilization plan (the “H&A Remedial Plan”). Wright-Pierce provided Wolfeboro with the H&A Remedial Plan on August 16, 2013, and after much prodding was able to convince Wolfeboro and its counsel to meet to discuss H&A’s proposal. This meeting was held on August 22, 2013. Thereafter, on October 7, 2013, the parties met with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (“NHDES”) to discuss the permitability of H&A’s proposed remedial measure.
Last week, the NHDES recommended that the H&A Remedial Plan be approved and implemented. The NHDES also raised concerns about potential wetlands issues. Wright-Pierce is now undertaking to investigate what, if any, wetlands issues must be addressed and how, which may necessitate the retention of a wetlands expert.
So WP has been maintaining for nearly a year that the site can be fixed, and they have developed a plan to do so that appears to be acceptable to NHDES.
I think it’s time for the Selectmen to decide what they want from this lawsuit. Our attorney has dazzled them with the suggestion that we can get millions in damages. Meanwhile, there is pretty good evidence that the town blew out the RIB by overloading it at startup, and by WP’s account the town is resisting efforts to fix it.
I’d rather explore fixing the thing than spend another half-million on depositions and a trial. You know that WP would spend the same, so there’s a million bucks that could go toward fixing the thing. Maybe the town could at least tell us what this fix would cost.