Huntington suit filed over mooring agreement

By Cara Bailey | Sep 8, 2008

WAYNE - The City of Huntington has filed a suit against a Huntington Marine Services, seeking to have a mooring agreement from 1994 terminated.

The agreement allowed the company the opportunity to add as many as 200 abandoned barges to the city's riverfront.

Assistant City Attorney Lora L. Maynard filed the suit Aug. 22 in Wayne Circuit Court.

The agreement, which then-Mayor Jean Dean entered with W. Stanley James, was for the lease of land in the Westmoreland area of Huntington. The land, located on the left bank of the Ohio, runs for nearly a mile from Twelve Pole Creek to Camden Park.

The land is zoned R-2 Residential for all land use purposes.

According to the suit, the purpose of the mooring agreement was for fleeting, mooring, anchoring and tying watercraft or barges, to inspect, clean and repair them.

However, Paragraph 19 of the mooring agreement states, "The parties acknowledge that the use of the described premises for the purposes described… requires various permits to be issued and approvals given, by Federal, State and/or local governmental units and agencies."

The city claims that Huntington Marine Services did not submit an application for a permit to install the mooring facility from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers until November 2004. The company failed to submit supplemental information to complete the permit application.

Another permit was applied for in April 2007, and was once against incomplete, the suit says. It was withdrawn and resubmitted in April 2008.

"To date, more than 14 years after execution of the lease agreement, the Defendant has failed to obtain the appropriate permits needed to place a mooring structure on the premises," the suit says.

The suit also says that the permit application has the proposed location of part of the mooring structure in a residential area.

According to the suit, Huntington Marine Services has failed to obtain a variance and/or rezoning from the Board of Zoning Appeals/Huntington City Council for the mooring structure to be located on the premises.

The City of Huntington seeks to have the mooring agreement terminated and both parities released from the terms, due to Huntington Marine Service's failure to secure the required permits.

The case has been assigned to Judge Darrell Pratt.

Wayne Circuit Court case number 08-C-235

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