The standstill and confidentiality agreement between Park Hills and Desloge concerning litigation and water issues has been terminated. The announcement came this morning just before press time.
&#8220The City of Desloge and the City of Park Hills made attempt at mediation and settlement with regards to outstanding litigation; but these attempts have been unsuccessful,” said Desloge City Administrator Eric Wiederhold. &#8220As a result, the City of Desloge saw it in its best interest and the best interest of its citizens to withdraw from the Standstill Agreement.”
Wiederhold said Desloge is looking forward to progress on the city’s new municipal water system.
&#8220We encourage all residents to complete application for water service from the City of Desloge,” Wiederhold said. &#8220Though disappointed that these most recent attempts at mediation and settlement have been unsuccessful; it is our intent to keep the door open to the possibility of future attempts at mediation and settlement.”
Wiederhold said a hearing has been scheduled on Nov. 8 on motions made by Park Hills.
Desloge officials said notice was given to Park Hills Mayor John Clark last week that Desloge would withdraw from the Standstill Agreement effective 8 a.m. this morning.
Desloge Mayor David Kater said Desloge elected to withdraw from the agreement because it was time to move forward with the city’s own municipal water system.
&#8220We were not able to come to an agreement for a regional water system so it was time to move forward with our own,” Kater said. &#8220We are at a point where we have to move forward. One of the things we need to do is sign up customers and we couldn’t do that under the standstill agreement.”
Kater said Desloge would begin signing up water customers immediately.
Park Hills City Administrator John Kennedy said Park Hills was notified last week that Desloge was withdrawing from the agreement, but said he would not comment on ongoing litigation.
&#8220That’s been our standard response all along and that is not going to change,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy said the hearing scheduled for Nov. 8 pertains to preliminary injunctions regarding ordinances Desloge officials have passed.
Desloge and Park Hills entered into a standstill and confidentiality agreement in March. Under the original March 13 agreement city officials agreed not to prosecute the litigation between them, nor make any public comments or give interviews to the media about the water issue for a period of 60 days.
The agreement was extended indefinitely in April.
In June the board passed an ordinance that allowed for the execution and delivery of $1,770,000 in certificates of participation for the financing of the waterworks system.
Work has begun on the new waterworks system.
&#8220Construction of the first well has started,” Wiederhold said in an interview on Sept. 28. &#8220We have been told that the well should be complete within two weeks. Schatz Underground is currently digging a pit in preparation of the boring for a waterline that will run underneath Highway 67. T. Drury is currently assembling its work crews to begin construction of the new well houses.”
Wiederhold said some of the materials for the new water system have already arrived and are being stored on a piece of property that the city owns off of Desloge Drive.
During the Aug. 14 city meeting, the board of aldermen approved several bids for the construction of a new municipal water system.
A bid from T. Drury for $836,799 for the construction of well buildings was approved. The bid was the lowest of four.
The board also approved a bid from Flynn Drilling of $257,961.75 for drilling the wells. The bid was the lowest of three.
The board approved a bid from Caldwell Tanks for $461,500 for standpipe work. The bid was the only one for that work. A bid from Neumann Company for $139,400 for painting the standpipe was also approved. The bid was the lowest of three.
In a special meeting held on Aug. 28, the board approved a bid from Schatz Underground worth $829,362 for the construction of a water main.