Friday, July 26, 2013

Hearing set in McKinstry dispute

Company wants contract declared legal, School District wants otherwise

Express Staff Writer

    Fifth District Judge Robert J. Elgee is scheduled to hear arguments on Aug. 26 concerning whether or not a 2010 contract between the Blaine County School District and contractor McKinstry Essention is legal or not.
    The district claims it is not. McKinstry claims it is. Both parties have filed motions with the court seeking a summary judgment on contract issues in a lawsuit between the parties that was filed in May of 2012.
    The School District won a partial victory on Monday when Elgee ruled that both parties’ motions would be considered at the same time.
    The district has claimed in court documents that McKinstry violated both the contract and state law regarding the contract and that the contract should therefore be declared illegal. The district has further argued that if it is declared illegal, then all money paid to McKinstry should be returned to the district.
    The lawsuit erupted over disagreement between the parties as to how much McKinstry should be paid. McKinstry claims it performed work worth $26 million and that the district still owes the company about $7 million. The district claims it only authorized work worth $18.6 million.
   The contract was for energy savings work and other improvements at eight district schools and facilities.
    The Aug. 26 hearing is set to begin at 2:30 p.m. in Blaine County 5th District Court.
    The case is scheduled for a jury trial to begin on April 8, 2014.

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