The Town of Fort Frances reached a $24,250 out-of-court settlement with Borderland Hockey School owner Terry Mihichuk last month, which was made official at last night’s council meeting.
The notice of discontinuance actually was signed and made official on July 23, said CAO Bill Naturkach.
Mihichuk had filed suit in March, 2000 for $200,000, citing a “breach of contract” when ice time at Memorial Arena was rented out to the ‘AA’ Developmental hockey camp in late 1998.
In the March, 2000 notice, Mihichuk and Winnipeg lawyer Jeff Palamar named the town, Mayor Glenn Witherspoon, and former Borderland Hockey School owner Lloyd “Gus” Lindberg as defendants.
The matter was discussed behind closed doors last night, followed by a unanimous vote in open council in favour of the settlement. Mayor Witherspoon was not present for the in-camera discussion nor did he vote on the settlement, citing a conflict of interest.
Of the settlement, $5000 will be paid out of the Town's budget with the rest to be covered by an insurance policy.
Naturkach said the decision to settle and avoid a court battle belonged to their insurance policy solicitors, adding they had complete control on how the negotiations took place.
“When a suit is filed, the appointed solicitor does what is necessary, " he said. "We are kept informed and find other information but we are not a party [to it].”