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HOPE FADES FOR QUICK SETTLEMENT IN SCHOOL RIFT DEPEW BOARD IS UNABLE TO REACH AGREEMENT IN CO-GENERATION LAWSUIT

The Depew School Board's hope for a quick out-of-court settlement to its co-generation lawsuit has faded after a meeting last week with the representative of one of the companies named in the suit concluded with no agreement.

"I will say we're disappointed," said School Superintendent Peter M. Brenner Sr.

"I had hoped that we could approve some type of settlement mutually acceptable to both parties."

Brenner said a meeting Thursday with a representative of Energy Enterprise Inc. centered on repairing the co-generation system located in the Depew Middle School.

The system, which has been shut down since February, is in need of $61,700 in repairs.

"The repairs are not the major expense," Brenner said, adding that the district is also seeking reimbursement for excessive down time, lost revenue and past repair work.

Since no agreement could be reached, the School Board authorized school attorneys to continue litigation proceedings against the five companies named in the suit.

School District Attorney Mark Perry of Phillips, Lytle, Hitchcock, Blaine and Huber said he is still awaiting answers to the complaint from the defendants being sued for $100,000 each for breach of contract, breach of warranty, negligence, or misrepresentation in connection with the design and construction of the system.

Energy Enterprises Inc. was one of eight companies named in the complaint but was not one of the five companies being sued.

Because of this, Perry said an out-of-court settlement remains a possibility.

The co-generation system was built in 1986 and 1987 at a cost of almost $1 million and was intended to provide the district's three schools with an inexpensive source of heating and electricity.

When the co-generation system is shut down, heat and electricity are provided to the schools by a traditional but more expensive system.

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