Presiding County Commissioner John Griesheimer said he is open to having settlement discussions with Pacific officials over a lawsuit filed against the Brush Creek Sewer District.
“It is in nobody’s best interest that we complain and point fingers,” Griesheimer said.
Griesheimer said Pacific City Administrator Harold Selby contacted Brush Creek officials last week looking to set up a meeting to have the discussions.
Griesheimer, and the other two county commissioners — Mike Schatz and Tim Brinker — serve as the trustees of the Brush Creek Sewer District.
No time for the meeting has been set, but Griesheimer said it will not be open to the public since it deals with litigation.
“That’s the way it should be,” Griesheimer said. “When we finalize the agreement, that would be brought forward.”
Among the allegations in the lawsuit is that the Brush Creek Sewer District breached the contract with Pacific. Under the contract, Pacific treats the sewage from the Brush Creek Sewer District.
The lawsuit alleges that Brush Creek has violated terms of the contract dealing with how much sewage can be sent to the city’s treatment plant daily.
Also, the lawsuit charges that Brush Creek did not seek the city’s permission to connect the Travelodge hotel to the Brush Creek sewer system.
The lawsuit is also filed against the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and Diamond Enterprises, LLC of Washington, which owns the hotel. Those two defendants also were required to seek Pacific approval to connect the hotel, the lawsuit says.
As a result of the sewer district’s breach of contract, Pacific has incurred damages of not less than $25,000, the lawsuit states. These damages come from expenses such as increased insurance costs from sewage backups in homes and engineering fees, according to the lawsuit, which has been filed in St. Louis County Circuit Court.
The meeting to begin settlement talks could be in a couple of weeks, Griesheimer said.
The goal is for Brush Creek officials to sit down with Pacific leaders to find out what they want, Griesheimer said.
He added that he is hopeful the lawsuit can be settled out of court, adding, “We’ve all got to work together.”
Griesheimer said he, Brinker and Schatz would attend the meeting with their attorney, Mark Vincent. County Water District No. 3 attorney, Mark Piontek, may also attend. Water District No. 3 manages the Brush Creek Sewer District for the trustees.
Pacific would send its team — City Administrator Harold Selby, City Attorney Dan Vogel, City Engineer Dan Rahn and Water Commissioner Robert Brueggemann.