Tentative agreement reached over brick schoolVoter approval needed
Warren — Warren has entered into a conditional settlement agreement with parties involved in a dispute over the sale of the brick school at 44 School St., according to a document filed on the town website Oct. 1.
The proposed resolution of the dispute involves an auction of the property and division of proceeds of the sale as follows: 60 percent to the plaintiff — Vixen Land Holdings LLC — and 40 percent to the town.
The settlement agreement fully and finally resolves the dispute, and states that "no party admits any wrongdoing, and the settlement agreement serves to eliminate unnecessary legal expense and control settlement in a way that the select board and plaintiff find reasonable."
The settlement agreement was signed by Robert Emery and Glenn Aho, interim town manager on Sept. 25. The select board voted unanimously in favor of signing the settlement agreement.
The agreement states "the property shall be sold at auction, without reserve bid and as an absolute sale, to the highest bidder. The property shall be sold as is, where is, without any form of warranty, representation, disclosure or other averment or statement as tot he quality, condition, and merchantability or insurability of title."
A special town meeting for later this month or next will be scheduled to seek ratification by Warren voters. If the voters fail to approve the settlement agreement, the agreement becomes null and void.
"I think we will have two meetings — one informational and the second the town meeting," said Glenn Aho, interim town manager, in an email Oct. 7.
The board of selectmen announced it will not be offering additional public comment outside of the public hearing at the town meeting as the matter might return to litigation if the settlement agreement is not approved by voters, according to the notice posted on the website.
The agreement provides that comment at the town meeting will be inadmissible in court should the matter return to litigation, and therefore a full discussion of the issues regarding the settlement agreement may be had then.
In fall 2010, Robert Emery — through his company Vixen Land Holdings LLC — had a purchase and sale agreement to buy the brick school from the town and planned to serve as landlord to CRC Health Group Inc. there.
In May 2011, the town told Emery the contract was null and void due to breach of contract. The town said Emery failed to secure a written commitment from a lender for the project, as stipulated in the sale agreement.
In February, a United States District court judge threw out two federal claims and one state claim of Emery's who alleged he was protected under a federal act and was discriminated against by the town of Warren.
Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
594-4401 ext. 125
Beth rejoined Courier Publications' news staff in February 2013. She previously worked at The Courier-Gazette from 1981 to 1990.
Her coverage area includes Warren, Union, Friendship, Waldoboro, Washington, and Thomaston and RSU40.
Beth has a passion for photography, and a degree from the University of Maine at Augusta, in affiliation with the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport.
Aside from photography, Beth enjoys running and walks along the waterfront, as well as other outdoor activities. She has a daughter, Claire, who is 13.
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