Judge sets CMC-SourceGas trial for June 2013
August 27, 2012
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – A trial date of June 26, 2013, has been set for the lawsuit between Colorado Mountain College and the SourceGas natural gas supply company, over the company’s effort to build a compressor station on the Spring Valley campus.
District Judge James Boyd set the date during a telephone status conference on Thursday.
According to Barbara Green, an attorney for the college, the conference largely focused on technical legal issues growing out of the lawsuit, including whether a lease for the compressor site can be the basis for continued court action.
Also among the remaining issues, Green said, is the question of whether SourceGas has the right to look at evidence held by CMC at this point in the lawsuit.
Judge Boyd ruled earlier in August that the college is a public entity, as described in state law, and that he is not legally able to force the school to allow construction of the compressor station.
SourceGas has said the compressors are needed to maintain adequate pressure in gas pipelines serving the Roaring Fork and Eagle valleys.
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In 2011, SourceGas signed a 20-year lease with CMC for a five-acre compressor station site near the Spring Valley campus, but the school’s board of trustees on May 14 repudiated the lease.
The college, through its attorneys, has argued that the lease was invalid from the start because the school is prohibited by state law from signing a lease for longer than three years, among other statutory difficulties.
Green said the law states that it was the responsibility of SourceGas to research and outline any such restrictions prior to the signing of a lease.
The judge did not dismiss the entire SourceGas suit outright, as requested by CMC, leaving open the company’s ability to sue the school for monetary damages.
The company has claimed that it spent roughly $2.5 million on equipment, engineering and planning for the proposed CMC site, and that shifting to another site will entail more costs.
SourceGas attorney Timothy Knapp told the Post Independent on July 7, following Judge Boyd’s previous ruling, that the company would be seeking monetary damages from the college.