Town officials last week agreed to settle an ongoing legal battle with the contractor responsible for the construction of town hall.
Wake Forest would keep or receive as payment a little more than $507,000 under the agreement.
The Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of entering into the settlement with Heaton Construction and various other parties involved in the building of town hall, which was completed in June 2010.
The settlement puts an end to years of litigation that kicked off when Heaton and Wake Forest disagreed about the timing and quality of the project’s completion. Heaton alleged it had finished early, while the town said the company had been late and that elements of the project had not been done correctly.
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The two parties had almost resolved those lawsuits when a big rainstorm came through town and revealed leaks throughout the building, said Town Manager Mark Williams. The damages added new layers to the litigation as Heaton and various subcontractors sued one another.
“That changed the whole thing,” Williams said. “It became a very convoluted, complicated lawsuit.”
Since town hall was built, Wake Forest has paid $506,000 in repair costs to address the leaks, just slightly less than it will receive. The terms of the settlement say any payments are not to be construed as an admission of liability.
Under the settlement, Heaton waives the right to collect $205,000 left on its contract with the town, as well as about $2,000 in interest.
Wake Forest also will collect $300,000 from the contractor and various subcontractors involved in the lawsuit, including $133,500 from Heaton.
Mayor Vivian Jones said the settlement amount makes up for the cost of repairs and avoids an expensive court case. The parties were due in Wake County Superior Court late next month.
“It has made the town whole,” Jones said. “I think it’s a good settlement.”
Commissioner Margaret Stinnett cast the sole vote against the settlement.