NEW BRIGHTON, Minn., Jan. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the City of New Brighton announced that it has reached an agreement with the United States Army and the United States Department of Justice under which the federal government will continue to pay New Brighton's costs for operating its water treatment facility for the next thirty years. The agreement, contained in a Supplemental Litigation Settlement Agreement being filed in federal district court in Minnesota, assures that the City will receive the funding needed to provide the same level of safe and clean water that residents have received for the past two decades.
"The Army is keeping its promise to fund safe and clean drinking water for the residents of New Brighton, just it has done for the past 20 years," said Dean Lotter, City Manager of New Brighton. "The new agreement continues and reinforces the 1988 settlement of the City's lawsuit against the Army.
In 1984, New Brighton sued the U.S. Army in federal court for contaminating New Brighton's drinking water supply from operations at the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP). Following the 1988 settlement, the Army fully funded all of New Brighton's costs to construct and own a state-of-the-art water treatment plant to remove TCAAP contaminants from the public drinking water supply. In 1992, the Army provided New Brighton funds sufficient to operate the water plant for a twenty-year period.
In recent years, negotiations to continue the advance funding under the terms of the litigation settlement agreement had stalled. On May 21, 2014, the City of New Brighton filed a motion in federal court in Minnesota asking the court to enforce the 1988 lawsuit settlement agreement.
Under the new Supplemental Litigation Settlement Agreement, the federal government will pay a minimum of $59.4 million to New Brighton to cover the City's expected costs for the next 30 years for owning and operating its water treatment facility. New Brighton and the federal government will negotiate a new funding agreement beyond that period, if conditions require continued treatment of the water supply.
"This settlement allows for the City to maintain control and autonomy over the treatment operations, and will preserve the safe water supply we have enjoyed for decades," Lotter said. "This agreement is a big victory for all of New Brighton's residents."
The federal judge presiding in the case was Ann D. Montgomery of the United States District Court, and settlement discussions proceeded before Magistrate Judge Janie S. Mayeron. New Brighton was represented in the proceedings by the law firm Fredrikson & Byron P.A. The New Brighton City Council will consider the agreement tonight at their regularly scheduled meeting at 6:30 p.m. in New Brighton City Hall.
For more information, go to: www.ci.new-brighton.mn.us.
SOURCE City of New Brighton