Response is filed for water lawsuit

Nov. 08, 2013 @ 06:05 PM

Granville County and the City of Henderson are for a dismissal of any legal challenge to the contested 2011 agreement where Granville purchased water from Henderson for potential tenants of the Triangle North business park in Granville County.

In response to the lawsuit filed by Oxford in August, defendants Granville and Henderson argue against the lawsuit’s claim that the Kerr Lake Regional Water System Agreement grants Oxford the authority to control and profit from the taps in Granville County.

The Kerr Lake Regional Water System Agreement was established in 1973 between Oxford, Henderson and Warren County. Warren County is also named in the suit.

The motion to dismiss filed Oct. 28 in N.C. Business Court denies Oxford’s interpretation of an amendment to the regional water system agreement that is central to Oxford’s lawsuit.

Although Oxford alleges the amendment to the regional water system agreement affords the city the right to control all taps and collect revenues from Granville customers, the motion to dismiss says that Oxford’s right to control the revenue from Granville water taps has not gone into effect.

According to the motion, Oxford’s right to control the taps does not become effective until “Henderson determines that the regional water system has sufficient funds to pay for moving the locations of the Oxford and Warren County meters to their respective county lines.”

The motion to dismiss says Henderson has not determined that sufficient funds are available to move the Oxford meter and the meter has not been moved.

It argues that the water purchased by Granville in the 2011 Utility Sales Agreement can be sold because the water is in Vance County at a metered location where Henderson has the right to sell water.

Granville officials sought a deal to supply water in the county’s research park when a biotechnology company, Baxter International, considered locating a site in Triangle North Granville as long as the research park could supply water and sewer services.

At the time, Triangle North in Granville did not have water or sewer.

In order to secure the business, Granville County officials struck a deal to purchase 1.5 million gallons of water per day from Henderson exclusively for the future tenants of Triangle North in Granville.

John Zollicoffer Jr., Henderson’s attorney, said Granville County approached Henderson with a deal because the county couldn’t reach an agreement with Oxford.

Granville was ultimately passed up by the company, which chose to locate in a site near Atlanta.

 

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.