County commissioners this week signed a settlement agreement and release document between Hardy Construction and the county.

Hardy had filed a complaint in Seventh Judicial Court July 31, 2012 regarding the contract for the construction work the company had done on the Meadow Valley Wash Linear Park improvements.

After several back and forth legal motions, the district court ordered an arbitration hearing Feb. 10-12, 2014. On April 16, the arbitrator ruled in favor of Hardy, “determining, among other things, that Hardy was entitled to an equitable adjustment in the amount of $481,656.45.” On May 29, the arbitrator also ruled in Hardy’s favor on their application for attorney’s fees and costs and set the final award amount at $755,236.10.

Lincoln County filed a motion to vacate the final award later that fall. However,

the motion was denied by the district court on Nov. 4, 2015.

Appeals were filed by Lincoln County in April 2016, which were opposed by Hardy, and the district court ordered new hearings scheduled for Oct. 18-20, 2016.

However, prior to that Lincoln County and Hardy Construction agreed “it is in the best interests of both parties to enter into a settlement agreement to fully and finally resolve this matter in accordance with the settlement terms set forth…”

County District Attorney Daniel Hooge noted a summary of the agreement states the county shall pay to Hardy the total sum of $660,000 on or before Nov. 1, 2016. In addition, the City of Caliente agrees to pay $20,000 a year for three years to Hardy.

However, the City of Caliente must still have the agreement approved by the city council at their regular meeting, which was Oct. 20.

Commissioner Paul Donohue commenting on the settlement said he was “glad to be done with it.” He also had high praise for the City of Caliente stepping in to help, and said “I’m good with it, and to get it off our plate.”