Tag: Lawyer

Pennichuck

Nashua Telegraph

Pennichuck Corp. has named Roland E. Olivier, a longtime corporate attorney, to a new position of general counsel to guide the company in its eminent domain fight with the city of Nashua.

The company said Monday that Olivier also will direct Southwood Corp., a land holding company.

Olivier also said that he looked forward to working again with Pennichuck chief executive Duane Montopoli, who also once worked at Hitchiner.

At the end of July, the state Public Utilities Commission ruled that Nashua could acquire Pennichuck’s waterworks for $203 million plus a $40 million mitigation reserve. While the city considers whether it wants the utility at that price, Pennichuck plans to appeal the ruling.

Thus far, Pennichuck has relied on outside counsel. That would still continue, but Olivier said he would provide some in-house guidance as the company makes decisions on the matter down the road.

Olivier said that most activity at Southwood has been put on hold while legal battle with Pennichuck continues but that the subsidiary "would continue to act as an excellent steward for the watershed for the towns that we serve."

Condemnations of utilities need a full time participant outside of the normal corporate governance structure in order to properly defend the business from an aggressive eminent domain action.  Forced acquisitions require a full time special assistant to guide and protect the corporation.  The guidance of the defense takes a full time employee to guide the work with outside counsel.  The issues run the gamut of trial preparation, leadership and protection of the institution.  Pennichuck is following the required route in defense of the its perpetuation.One has to wonder why this case was not removed to the federal court.  

Blue Water Bridge Expansion: What you really need to know

thetimesherald.com, November 20,2007

Mike Connell recently posed a Q and A in his article to address, in his opinion, possible issues with the Blue Water Bridge expansion. However some of the questions and answers are flawed. For example, Mr. Connell quotes the MDOT as stating that owners are better off selling the property because they obtain 125% of their own value. The problem is that the offer may be far less than 100% of the value. The 125% applies to the total amount paid, whether by settlement or trial or a simple deed. Mr. Connell forgets the rights of individual owners can be protected.

The intent of the article is to show that the government will take the property, and the owners have no rights to challenge the amounts.  Further it appears from the article owners should simply succumb to the governmental desires.  This is simply wrong!

There is no question about public use for the International Bridge, nor is there a question that we must secure our borders. However, there is still the requirement of "just compensation" in both the Michigan and United States Constitution.

Farmers Not Looking to Sell

YouNewsTV, October 17, 2007

A local landfill has agreed to pay for a much needed sewer treatment plant near Wyatt. In exchange, the landfill could purchase land from farmers without rezoning.

Waste Management has offered to pay for the $1.5 million plant, but in return, it wants an overlay district created around the Prairie View Landfill.

After criticism, St. Joseph County proposed smaller district.

The plan has undergone a few changes. But the biggest change is a contract is a contract that will require Waste Management to pay property owners for fair market value if an

Waste Management anticipates the landfill will need to expand in another 25 years. Some farmers who live next door to the landfill do not want to sell.

-Forcing farmers to lose the right and benefit of owning a farm with potential for other development in the future because of proximity to the waste site does not fulfill the basic requirement of full compensation clauses of either the Indiana or Michigan Constitutions.

County Purchases Another Utility

Shorelines, October 11, 2007

St. Johns County Utility is ready to finalize a deal to buy intercoastal Utilities. Some people still think the price is too high.

Appraised at $24.5 million, the aging water and sewer system serves about 4,500 residents in Ponte Vedra Beach and Palm Valley.

At a Palm Valley Community Association, meeting residents complained the appraised value is too high.

Whether or not no the county acquires the utility, it will have to pay the company’s legal fees for the past year.

-Many governmental agencies are attempting to take water and other utilities when they fear there is an environmental issue, a safety constraint, or inability to develop in an appropriate fashion in the future. However, this community should not think that their rates will go down simply because the utility is being purchased by the County.

LaPorte County Airport

Post-Tribune, August 5, 2007

Northwest Indiana is a prime piece of the national shipping puzzle.

A 3,000 acre parcel in LaPorte County is the potential site future site for a huge transportation hub.  The site is close to nearly all major interstates in Northwest Indiana.  

If the property owners of the tract do not respond soon to offers, eminent domain maybe used to kick them off their property.  Governments have the power to force private property owners to sell their land for the public use or for private use where there’s a substantial public benefit.

The location is a prime example of the highest and best use assembled by the government.  There is a reasonable argument that maintains that the government is the only source to assemble, but there is also an argument that part of the special value of the location should be for the benefit of the owners.