LISBON - East Liverpool's lawsuit against Columbiana County commissioners over shale gas lease money has officially been dismissed.
Both sides agreed to dismiss the lawsuit in a joint entry filed late last week in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court, which comes on the heels of a court order committing commissioners to depositing $1.5 million with the court to help resolve the lawsuit between East Liverpool and the Buckeye Water District.
The BWD was successfully sued for breach of contract by East Liverpool after the BWD quit purchasing water from the city. This resulted in a $4.8 million judgment against the BWD, which commissioners were also on the hook for as a co-defendant because the county once operated the water district that later became the BWD.
When the BWD balked at paying East Liverpool, saying that to do so could cripple its operations, the city filed a lawsuit against commissioners seeking any money they received for leasing county property for oil and gas development, with the funds to be applied toward the judgment.
To help resolve the lawsuit and get East Liverpool to drop its lawsuit, commissioners agreed to make $1.5 million in future lease money available for satisfying the judgment against the BWD, which would repay the county. This was followed by the court entry officially depositing the money with the court while East Liverpool and the BWD continue to negotiate.