City of New Brighton reaches settlement agreement with Army for WTP funding
Under a settlement agreement filed with the federal court in Minnesota, the city of New Brighton, Minn., will receive $59.4 million from the U.S. Army to fund its water treatment plant.
NEW BRIGHTON, MN, Feb. 4, 2015 -- Under a settlement agreement filed with the federal court in Minnesota, the city of New Brighton, Minn., will receive $59.4 million from the U.S. Army to fund its water treatment plant (WTP).
In 1988, the Army agreed to pay all of New Brighton's costs to construct, own and operate the state-of-the-art WTP after contaminating the city's drinking water supply with pollutants from its Twin Cities Ammunition Plant. The Army provided New Brighton funds in 1992 to operate the WTP for a 20-year period, but in 2012, that term expired, and negotiations failed for continued advance funding of a new term.
As a result, New Brighton filed a motion in federal court in Minnesota on May 21, 2014, asking the court to enforce the 1988 settlement agreement. Judge Ann D. Montgomery immediately ordered the parties to participate in settlement discussions before Magistrate Judge Janie S. Mayeron.
Over the next five months, Mayeron met with the parties in four settlement conferences in an attempt to resolve the funding dispute. Ultimately, both parties were able to reach a resolution. "Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., and Barr Engineering were instrumental in helping New Brighton achieve an outstanding result," said Dean Lotter, New Brighton city manager. "The supplemental settlement agreement continues and reinforces the 1988 settlement of the city's lawsuit against the Army."
On January 27, 2015, the New Brighton City Council unanimously approved the settlement agreement. Montgomery issued an order requiring the Army to pay New Brighton $59.4 million to cover the city's expected costs for the next 30 years for owning and operating the facility. She also incorporated the settlement agreement into her order and retained jurisdiction to resolve any future disputes.