By Eugenia Jones
In an update given during the McCreary County Heritage Foundation’s (MCHF) December meeting, Chairperson Ray Moncrief said the Foundation’s efforts to collect the $734,000 awarded to them through court-ordered arbitration continues. As a result of Wasatch Railroad Contractors’ failure to pay the award on time, MCHF’s collection efforts have become more pronounced as Judge Claria Horn Boom signed an order unstaying proceedings and confirming the arbitration award.
MCHF legal counsel, Stefan Bing, has contacted a Wyoming based attorney to register Federal Judge Boom’s award in the State of Wyoming. Discussions between MCHF and Wasatch are expected to begin with the goal of determining collectability of the award and reaching an amicable agreement. If an agreement is not reached, the Foundation expects to begin the process of asset discovery.
The monetary award is the outcome of a decision rendered by Arbitrator Thomas R. Yokum in the court-ordered arbitration between the Claimant McCreary County Heritage Foundation against Respondents Wasatch Railroad Contractors and John E. Rimmasch for breach of contract regarding the restoration of a steam locomotive.
The final decision and award resolved the 2018 civil action complaint filed by MCHF against Wasatch and Rimmasch. The complaint alleged five counts, including breach of contract, and stemmed from a 2012 design/build contract entered into by MCHF and the Wyoming based railroad contractors for the restoration and completion (to operational condition) of the K & T Railway No. 14 steam locomotive, built in 1944 and owned by MCHF in Stearns. As of now, the steam engine still does not meet operational standards.
In additional meeting business, Moncrief reported two sizable grant applications submitted to fund the restoration of downtown Stearns and the McCreary County Museum in Stearns were denied. Moncrief said the Foundation will continue to pursue sources of funding for the projects.
The McCreary County Heritage Foundation meets on the second Monday of each month at 5:30 in the Outdoor Venture Corporation Conference room.