Lawsuits prompt Weirton to ask for local Port Authority dissolut - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Lawsuits prompt Weirton to ask for local Port Authority dissolution

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Work at the Half Moon Industrial Park in Weirton has led to a request by the city of Weirton to dissolve the Weirton Area Port Authority. Work at the Half Moon Industrial Park in Weirton has led to a request by the city of Weirton to dissolve the Weirton Area Port Authority.
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By The State Journal Staff

The city of Weirton is asking the West Virginia Public Port Authority to consider dissolving the local port authority, although so far city officials aren't talking publicly about why they want it done.

However, a letter requesting the dissolution, signed by Weirton Mayor George Kondik and directed to WVPPA Executive Director Doug York, was posted on the Weirton Area Port Authority's Facebook page with a call for comment.

WVPPA was slated to meet at 3 p.m. Oct. 2 at Stonewall Resort in Roanoke.

In his letter to the state board, Kondik referenced "various lawsuits, reports of allegations of non-payment or delinquent payment to vendors, reports of allegations of non-payments to employees and/or contract workers and ... misrepresentations of the work being completed and (their) authority," within the Half Moon Industrial Park business community.

Port officials countered with a call for "input on this recent correspondence from the City of Weirton to dissolve the Weirton Area Port Authority, especially when (the mayor) states that he represents the citizens and the tax payers of Weirton on this issue."

Two weeks ago, the Ohio-based contractor commissioned to do earthwork for the Weirton Area Port Authority, Inc., sued the two companies that actually own the property because they hadn't been paid.

Kokosing Construction Co. filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Wheeling, alleging it is owed more than $500,000 for a transfer pad, retention pond, storm sewers, catch basins and downspout collection lines its crews installed in 2012 at the port property, located in Half Moon Industrial Park. 

Because the port does not hold title to the parcel, the suit actually names Center Point Terminal Co. LLC and Go Green Recyling LLC as defendants. According to mechanics liens Kokosing filed in Brooke County Circuit Court in March, Center Point is the owner of record of 5.962-acres of the port property in question and Go Green, 0.45-acres.

Kokosing's suit claims the company had met all of its contractual obligations, delivering "all of the labor and materials and (performing) all of the work required" of it. "However, in spite of plaintiff's demand for payment of the contract price, WAPA ... has refused to pay plaintiff what it is allegedly owed," the suit says.

A September 2012 invoice submitted with the lawsuit indicated total project cost was not to exceed $800,000, the work was to be completed by Dec. 31 and invoices paid within 45 days of receipt. It was signed by WAPA Inc. General Manager Jim Greco.

Port officials also were named in a suit filed by Citynet in 2012 in Hancock County Circuit Court seeking more than $221,000 the Bridgeport company says it is owed for work done on a fiber-optic network allegedly commissioned by Karl Keffer, a former port advisor who is now serving as WAPA's interim director.