September 2, 2014

Elyria
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Midview Schools to pay withheld money

ELYRIA —  Midview Schools has settled a long-running feud with the contractor that built three elementary schools.
The district has agreed to pay Sandusky-based Telamon Construction Inc. about $1.4 million in payments it withheld because work on the schools was completed three months late.
The work was supposed to be done by May 2005, but it wasn’t finished until August, just before the school year began.
“That money would be paid and everybody would walk away,” Superintendent Howard Dulmage said.
Both sides will be responsible for their own legal fees, according to court documents filed Monday that dismiss the case. Dulmage said he isn’t certain how much the district’s legal fees are, but they’re far less than the more than $300,000 it racked up fighting another lawsuit it lost to Great Lakes Crushing Ltd. earlier this year.
 Roger Sabo, an attorney representing Telamon, said there still are some issues to resolve between Telamon and its subcontractors, but the fight between the district and his client is over. Telamon’s 2006 lawsuit had asked for more than $3 million in unpaid money and damages. The company had argued that it was given extensions on project deadlines, but the district countered that the school official who granted the extensions didn’t have the authority to do so.
Dulmage said the school board must still vote on whether to approve the settlement at a meeting scheduled for later this month.
“We can stop looking in the rearview mirror and look forward, and that’s an important thing for our community,” he said.
The board voted last month to settle the dispute with Great Lakes Crushing, which centered on problems in the parking lot and other areas the Eastlake company worked on. Earlier this year, a jury ordered the district to pay the company $292,000 after a seven-week trial.
But the district had planned to appeal until it reached a settlement, agreeing to pay Great Lakes and its law firm $300,000 plus another $59,000 in interest. Great Lakes also was paid another $73,000 to fix drainage problems at the schools. Dulmage said the court costs and legal fees for both settlements will be tacked onto the bond issue that financed the $28 million project over the next 25 years.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.