BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) – Both parties in a Bristol, Virginia lawsuit that has been ongoing since 2020 have agreed to a proposed settlement.
Bristol City Manager and City Attorney Randall Eads told News Channel 11 that both the Bristol Virginia City Council and (Bristol Virginia Utility) BVU Authority board members agreed to the settlement. The city council met and discussed the terms Feb. 14, while the utility provider met on Feb. 16.
Christopher Hall, director of customer operations and IT for BVU, provided the following statement regarding the settlement:
“The BVU Authority Board of Directors held a public meeting last Thursday regarding our organization’s litigation with the City of Bristol, Virginia. Our Board (3 members in attendance) unanimously approved for Mr. Bowman to execute a provisional agreement to settle the ongoing litigation.”Christopher Hall, Director of Customer Operations & IT for BVU Authority
A joint press release between the parties details the terms of the settlement.
The settlement will result in BVU making a one-time cash payment to the city for $2.1 million that must be paid within 30 days of the settlement being signed. The settlement also releases both parties from any liabilities, demands or actions.
The settlement contains other terms pertaining to BVU’s future Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) Payments to the city and other procedures. The PILOT payments will be reduced by an estimated $226,000 annually.
The lawsuit was filed in 2020 by the city, who claimed the utility provider owed Bristol millions of dollars as part of an agreement related to the sale of BVU’s OptiNet Division in 2018. The initial lawsuit sought $6.5 million in damages and a full jury trial.