Cumberland Times-News

Local News

November 18, 2013

Hampshire Development Authority settles wellness suit for $1.1 million

Payment result of construction, design defects

ROMNEY, W.Va. — Calculating the figures on the Hampshire County Development Authority’s balance sheets filed for September and October, the Hampshire Wellness and Fitness Center lawsuit settlement is $1.1 million of the $1.4 million asked for originally.

From that figure, an unknown amount is to be paid to Valley Health for its part of the suit and $126,000 will be paid to the Hampshire County Commission for legal fees paid to the attorneys on behalf of the authority.

Members of the authority confirmed paying the $126,000 during a county commission meeting.

Over the course of more than a year, a total of $351,000 was given to the authority by the commission to help with the financial drain encountered as a result of design and construction defects at the Wellness Center. After receiving the reimbursement of legal fees, the commission was owed a balance of $225,000. However, during the Nov. 12 commission meeting, commissioners voted to roll back that money into the authority’s revolving loan fund, and deemed the $225,000 a grant.

The $1.4 million civil suit was filed Feb. 24, 2012, by the Hampshire County Commission and the Hampshire County Development Authority to recover damages and losses they say were suffered.

In September 2012, all parties signed an agreement to set up mediation on the suit.

Parties involved in the mediation include defendants Somerset Steel Erection Co., Rummel, Klepper and Kahl, architect Robert T. Eckels and Somerset Steel Erection Co. as a third-party plaintiff vs. Consolidated Electric, Air-Row Sheet Metal Co., Hetrick Masonry, and G.A. Largent and Associates as third-party defendants.

The mediation agreement forbids anyone involved to release the settlement terms to the public.

Final papers of release have not been filed in circuit court, said Judge Charlie Parsons on Monday morning.

“That order has to be passed around for all parties to sign,” Parsons said.

He said he had not received any papers from the authority’s attorney, John Meadows of Steptoe and Johnson.

“I’d like to comment, but I, along with the entire EDA, are bound by the formal agreement not to comment on this subject,”  Jason Hicks, president of the authority, said Monday afternoon. “Averting the settlement amount, I can say that it has been a very painful process that has been extremely consuming throughout our involvement. Now that we have settled old business, we are better able to focus on assisting with the economic opportunities of Hampshire County.”

Contact Marla Pisciotta at

Text Only
Local News
  • Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds

    After you drive Alexander and Furnace streets then navigate a couple of switchbacks on Cemetery Road, you’d figure there would be no more uphill.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Proposed county budget holds most agencies flat

    After taking into account an income tax shortfall, Allegany County Finance Director Jason Bennett said he’ll propose a budget that holds most outside agencies to flat funding and funds the Board of Education at what county officials say are maintenence of effort levels for 2015.

    April 17, 2014

  • RYAN WOLF Wolf named 2014-15 Garrett Teacher of the Year

    Southern Garrett High School teacher Ryan Wolf has been named the 2014-15 Garrett County Teacher of the Year.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock

    While giving a civics lesson at Frostburg State University on Thursday, U.S. Rep. John Delaney, congressman from Maryland’s sixth district, told students that the polarization in Congress is due primarily to redistricting and a poorly designed Congressional schedule.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fourmile Ridge wind project approved, moves forward

    The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the Fourmile Ridge wind project in eastern Garrett County and site preparation started April 7, according to Frank Maisano, a wind industry spokesman. The current notice listed on the FAA website for the project is for a small change in turbine location.

    April 17, 2014

  • Oakland back to normal after toppled tanker closes business district

    The town of Oakland returned to normal activities Thursday, one day after a tanker full of liquid propane overturned in the heart of the business district.
    Shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday the toppled tanker was removed and its 10,000-gallon load transferred to another tanker.

    April 17, 2014

  • Students back Southern Middle School renovation

    Students from both Southern and Northern middle schools presented a list of reasons why Southern Middle needs to be renovated during the Garrett County Commission meeting Tuesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Trial run Trial run

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 72nd anniversary of Doolittle Raid on Tokyo 72nd anniversary of Doolittle Raid on Tokyo

    Friday, April 18, has another special meaning for me besides Good Friday.
    April 18, 1942, proved to be a pivotal day for American morale, following the deadly air attack and destruction conceived and executed by Japanese Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lara Courrier seeks re-appointment to Mineral school board

    I, Lara Courrier, am seeking re-election to the Mineral County Board of Education to continue the work I’ve done the last four years. Having served as a school counselor at the Burlington Center School and the Chick Buckbee Juvenile Center for nearly six years, as well as approximately 20 years total working with children, I have insight into the needs of kids and the importance of the actions of the school board. Having three sons and several nieces and nephews in Mineral County schools, I have an added incentive to continue to work hard to ensure the efficient running of our school system. 

    April 17, 2014