November 3, 2005
Tondu won't appeal, city absorbs $111K
Council votes 6-0 in favor of settlement
MANISTEE - The city
agreed to swallow $111,518 in costs stemming from Tondu Corp.'s permit
application for a coal-fired power plant.
exchange, the corporation will walk away from its federal lawsuit against
the city over the city's refusal to grant a special-use permit for the
plant, city officials said.
The city council voted
6-0 Tuesday to approve the settlement, city manager Mitch Deisch
"We believe this is a very good deal for the
city of Manistee," he said.
A message left at
Tondu Corp. in Houston was not returned.
Salt Works Development Corp., a Tondu subsidiary, sued the city in July
2004 for $59 million, alleging that the city discriminated against it when
it rejected the 425-megawatt power plant.
month, U.S. District Judge Richard Enslen ruled the company had no case
and granted a motion to dismiss the suit. Tondu has now agreed not to
appeal that dismissal.
Deisch said the city spent
about $32,000 to defend the lawsuit and the city's insurance company spent
"a tremendous amount of money." He said he didn't know how much the
insurance company paid.
The city's zoning
ordinance will be revised to clarify that a company requesting a special
use permit will be required to pay consulting fees and costs stemming from
a special use permit application whether the permit is approved or not,
Attorney Christopher Bzdok, who
represented intervening defendants Manistee Citizens for Responsible
Development and Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, said the special- use
permit fee was between Tondu and the city.
interest in the case was preventing the construction of an environmentally
harmful coal plant," Bzdok said. "It sounds like it's all done, and we're
happy to hear that."
"Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray
where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul."