Wallingford council approves settlement in CMEEC arbitration

Wallingford council approves settlement in CMEEC arbitration



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WALLINGFORD — The Town Council is waiting for the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative to sign off on a settlement to the town’s lawsuit accusing the energy cooperative of overcharging. 

The Town Council approved the settlement Tuesday, but Chairman Vincent Cervoni didn’t disclose figures, citing  CMEEC’s pending decision. The town has maintained throughout the duration of the complaint that the overcharging totaled roughly $3.5 million. 

CMEEC, an electric energy cooperative owned by several municipal utilities in Connecticut, had purchased power for Wallingford from 1994 until 2014, after which the town entered a five-year contract with Energy New England.

Wallingford entered a legal dispute with CMEEC in late 2013, claiming the cooperative misinterpreted contract terms and overcharged the town for shared projects.

Town Council and Public Utilities Commission discussions on the lawsuit over the years have been held in executive sessions, which are not open to the public, and town officials have been tight-lipped on disclosing details.

In July 2018, CMEEC calculated it owed Wallingford net damages of $1.8 million from 2014 to 2017.

Arbitrator Eric Van Loon ruled earlier in the arbitration that Wallingford could not challenge any bill from CMEEC prior to May 2014 due to contract language.

The damages are calculated based on Van Loon’s ruling that CMEEC breached contracts with Wallingford by overcharging the town for labor costs and by billing the town for “certain business expenses that had not been shown to be attributable to” projects the two sides share.

Those projects include CMEEC's Pierce Generating Station located in Wallingford, of which the town owns about 33 percent, and the cooperative’s Microgen diesel generation plant, of which the town owns about 35 percent.

The town has appropriated $2.6 million to cover legal expenses regarding the dispute since 2013.

LTakores@record-journal.com
203-317-2212
Twitter: @LCTakores


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