Saturday, July 17, 2004

Jim Beam sues city for road project

By Kevin Aldridge
Enquirer staff writer

CARTHAGE - Jim Beam Brands Co. is suing Cincinnati for nearly $450,000 for damages and expenses the company claims to have incurred because of a construction project at Interstate 75 and Paddock Road.

The lawsuit alleges the city offered Jim Beam $191,099 in April 2000 for a little less than an acre near its entrance for improvements to the I-75/Paddock interchange.

The money was to compensate the company for its loss of parking space and the replacement of fencing and signage, the lawsuit said.

However, Jim Beam officials became concerned about traffic safety at the bottling plant. They asked city officials to make traffic safer.

According to the suit, the city agreed to alter the plans if Jim Beam allowed contractors onto the property immediately to begin work.

Jim Beam officials entered into a "right-of-entry" agreement with the city. The agreement gave the city permission to begin work at the plant provided it would administer the necessary safety precautions, return Jim Beam property to its previous condition and fairly compensate the company for the land used.

Attorney Stephen Black, who represents Jim Beam, said the city ignored safety and compensation issues outlined in the contract. The project was finished in 2003.

Black said his client was forced to hire off-duty police to control traffic, and the city failed to repair damages, and dropped its offer for the land used to $67,535.

City Solicitor Rita McNeil could not be reached for comment.


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