Polk to sue White Oak Development

Published 8:24 pm Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Polk County is planning to sue White Oak Development after not receiving payments for the construction of a water line.

Commissioners Monday agreed to direct interim county attorney Mike Egan to file a lawsuit against White Oak in Polk County Superior Court.

White Oak still owes the county more than $135,000 for a water line that the county completed last year. The total cost of the line was $359,505, which was supposed to be paid in full by Sept. 1, 2009. The county has been working with White Oak since then and in February agreed to accept payments of $34,000 each month until the bill was paid in full by June.

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County manager Ryan Whitson said the county has not received a payment in months.

White Oak made half the total payment for the line in late August, then paid the county another $10,000 last December. Commissioners at the beginning of the year did not initally agree to White Oaks request to make monthly payments, then in February decided to accept $34,000 per month for five months. The county received the first $34,000 payment, but officials say they havent received any payments since.

” All we can say at the moment is that we understand the commissioners’ position and are working to resolve this matter soon,” said White Oak developer Justin Kinsella.

The White Oak developers said earlier this year that the failure of the development’s lake to function properly had a negative impact on the original program for 2009 and the current economy has caused difficulties. Developers say, though, they are still committed to the project, having invested $30 million of their own resources for the development.

Polk County paid for the water line extension out of its fund balance, with the construction being completed last fall.

The extension comes off the countys main water line that runs through Polk County connecting the Broad River Water Authority to the Inman Campobello Water Distict. White Oaks water line is an approximately two-mile extension that runs from the Hwy. 14 and Hwy. 9 crossroad, down Sandy Plains Road to the development.