City of Trumann and Delta Environmental battle in court - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

City of Trumann and Delta Environmental battle in court

HELENA, AR (KAIT) – Attorneys and representatives for the City of Trumann and Delta Environmental appeared in U.S. Bankruptcy Court Wednesday regarding disputes over commercial trash pickup and payments.

According to Trumann Mayor Sheila Walters, the city maintains Delta Environmental, which entered into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, has not fulfilled a contractual obligation to pick up trash. At the same time, Delta Environmental contends the city has not made appropriate monthly payments.

On Wednesday both parties met before Judge James Nixon in Helena. His decision will take four to six months. He must determine who broke the contract and what consequences will be made on the breach. Jeannette Robertson, the attorney representing the city, said the judge must also decide whether the city is under contract with Delta Environmental for commercial trash pickup.

Once the transcripts of Wednesday's hearing and a hearing in May are complete, lawyers for Delta will have 30 days to write a brief.  Robertson will have another 30 days to write a brief on behalf of the city.

Afterward, Robertson said the judge will then hand down a ruling on the matter.

The current contract between Delta and Trumann will expire July 31, 2012. It's unclear what will happen while the case is played out in court.

Both sides contend the other breached a 2002 contract.

In August of 2010, the city passed a resolution to cancel the contract, but once Delta filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, an "automatic stay" was granted. An "automatic stay" prevents civil action from being taken against an entity without permission of bankruptcy court.

Previous attempts by the city to get out of the contract failed.

The residential side of the contract was dissolved in February of 2012. In December of 2011, a settlement was reached requiring the city to pay Delta $6,000 in a timely manner, give an updated list of clients and a provision to cancel the contract.

Wednesday, both sides presented witnesses during the six-hour hearing.

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