City of Trumann and Delta Environmental battle in court

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

According to Trumann Mayor Sheila Walters, the citymaintains Delta Environmental, which entered into Chapter 11 bankruptcyprotection, has not fulfilled a contractual obligation to pick up trash. At thesame time, Delta Environmental contends the city has not made appropriatemonthly payments.

On Wednesday both parties met before Judge James Nixon inHelena. His decision will take four to six months. He must determine who brokethe contract and what consequences will be made on the breach. JeannetteRobertson, the attorney representing the city, said the judge must also decidewhether the city is under contract with Delta Environmental for commercialtrash pickup.

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

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

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

Both sides contend the other breached a 2002 contract.

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

Previous attempts by the city to get out of the contractfailed.

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

Wednesday, both sides presented witnesses during thesix-hour hearing.

Copyright 2012 KAIT. All rights reserved.