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Traverse City, Missouri to Seek More Arbitrations in Contract Disputes

Saturday, September, 6, 2014

Recent success using the arbitration process to resolve contract disputes with city employees has prompted Traverse City, Missouri, to announce it will seek to use the arbitration process more often in the future when such disputes come up with city employees and vendors.


The city recently won an arbitration involving a road project for which the city paid vendor Elmer’s Crane and Dozer more than $800,000.  The contractor had demanded an additional payment of $600,000, but lost in the ensuing arbitration.  The city, which in the past had relied on its own lawyers to battle such claims in the courts, announced that this success had prompted an internal decision to seek outside legal advice and arbitration solutions going forward, as opposed to seeking redress in the court system.


Most notably, the city announced it would rely on arbitration to settle the ongoing dispute over the Clinch Park project, for which the city paid vendor Hamilton Anderson nearly $300,000 for the design and construction of the park.  When the park’s water attraction opened, a glitch saw raw sewage mixed in with the water.  Repairs to the attractions could be as expensive as $350,000, and the city wants Hamilton Anderson to cover some of these costs.


In the past, the city would have handled the suit internally, but now is open to hiring outside legal firms and has announced it is taking bids for a firm to handle the upcoming arbitration over the Clinch Park issue.