City closer to settling encroachment disputeOctober 2, 2020
By CANDY NEAL
HUNTINGBURG — The City of Huntingburg and GSES are closer to settling an encroachment dispute near Market Street Park.
The Huntingburg Common Council met in a special meeting on Thursday to discuss the matter. The council authorized Mayor Denny Spinner to proceed with the negotiations in accordance with an agreement that has been proposed. The details of the agreement were not released publicly because GSES must officially approved the terms.
“We are getting close to an agreement,” Spinner said after Thursday’s meeting.
Market Street Park, which is located behind Old Town Hall between Third and Fourth streets, opened in October 2018.
In November 2018, Grant Swartzentruber of Washington-based GSES claimed that the city used part of his property, located at 317 E. Fourth St., without permission. The property includes China Wok on the first floor and apartments on the second floor.
Swartzentruber filed a lawsuit that November and then again in February 2019, at which time the city received notice.
The lawsuit stated that the city used GSES’ property for staging and storing materials and equipment without compensating the owner. The courts determined this summer that it was the contractor, not the city, that did, and that part of the suit was dismissed.
Swartzentruber also claimed in the suit that the city permanently installed an underground electrical box on his property. The city has since been trying to negotiate a settlement.
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