HIGHGATE — The Town of Highgate has agreed to pay Missisquoi Valley Rescue (MVR), Inc., $28,500 to resolve a lawsuit the emergency service filed against the town last February, according to selectboard chair Sharon Bousquet.
The agreement also requires the selectboard to add an article to Town Meeting Day this year, asking voters whether or not they want to contract with MVR beginning in July 2019. The vote will be binding due to the legal contract, Bousquet stated.
Bousquet discussed the lawsuit openly with the public at the Jan. 4 selectboard meeting, explaining the “bones” of the agreement and why the town chose to resolve the issue as opposed to continuing to fight the lawsuit.
“The biggest piece was, there was a dispute over monies,” she began. The town believed and had record of MVR owing the town money, according to Bousquet.
“They said that we owed them money,” she said. “We thought they owed us more money than we owed them so we did not pay the remainder of their contract price, based on the dispatching fee discrepancy.”
Bousquet said in truth, the town treasurer previous to Shelley Laroche made an error, failing to record a check from MVR, which was deposited into the general fund. She said MVR had a copy of the check on file, with the town stamp on it.
“We apologized to MVR,” she said. “That was not our intention, to stiff [them] for money. It was just an error.”
For more on the agreement between MVR and Highgate, read the full story in Tuesday’s Messenger.