Warren County and the Warren County Downtown Economic Development Authority are expected to reach a final settlement early next week with Mills Family Realty over a dispute involving the commercial wrap of a parking garage in the Bowling Green Tax Increment Financing District.
Attorney Scott Bachert, representing the county and the authority, asked Judge John Grise at a scheduling conference on Wednesday morning to defer setting a schedule for discovery and a trial in a lawsuit that the county and authority brought against Mills Family Realty, Alliance Corporation and several subcontractors.
The parties in the lawsuit are set to appear in a new scheduling conference at 1 p.m. on July 21, but are working to reach a settlement to resolve issues raised in the lawsuit before that point.
The wrap of the parking garage in Block 6 of the downtown TIF district has experienced financial and legal issues this year. Contractors have filed liens on the property for money they say they are owed and the county and authority filed a lawsuit against Mills Family Realty, which manages the wrap, and contractors on the project to try to get liens removed.
In May, Warren County Fiscal Court and the authority approved a preliminary settlement agreement with Mills Family Realty that would allow for a new developer to take the place of Mills Family Realty. Under that settlement, the county would settle with Alliance Corporation to satisfy the claims of Alliance and other subcontractors.
Bachert said in court on Wednesday that the county and authority hope to finalize its settlement agreement with Mills Family Realty in order to transfer control of the project by Tuesday of next week.
Discussions have also been ongoing with the attorney for Alliance setting out general parameters of a settlement that would include Alliance settling with the subcontractors out of a payment made to Alliance, he said.
"So I'm hoping that as soon as we get the Millses into the barn that we'll have this one wrapped up shortly thereafter," Bachert said.
Attorney C. Michael Shull III, who represents Alliance, said during the conference that he has "a lot of optimism" about a settlement being reached soon.
"I agree that it looks like the pieces are falling into place," he said.
Shull said that he would also like a delay in scheduling for the case.
Bachert asked for a delay of four weeks until the next scheduling conference in order to get settlements with contractors into place, saying that two weeks might be too soon because of the intervening July 4 holiday.
"If we don't have this worked out in four weeks, we're probably going to need some court intervention at that point anyway," he said.