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City council approves financial settlement regarding damages in historic zoning suit

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021 — Following an executive session regarding litigation at its meeting Tuesday night, the Bardstown City Council approved a settlement of $87,500 between the city, its Historic Review Board, and PIMIMA, a limited liability company owned by Bardstown businessman Bill Conway and his wife, Cathy.

215 W. Stephen Foster Ave.

The settlement stems from a lawsuit Conway filed against the city regarding the city’s Historic Review Board actions involving a historic property the Conways were rehabilitating at 215 West Stephen Foster Ave. Part of the Conways’ claims had been adjudicated; however a portion of the lawsuit that sought financial damages from the city had not been addressed.

The issue revolves around the replacement of the original windows in the home’s historic section. The city ordered Conway to stop work on the project after the original windows were replaced with new units. The settlement addresses revenue lost while the property sat unfinished. Click here for “Bardstown City Council works to find middle ground in appeal of HRB decision.”

Following negotiations that ended late in the day Tuesday, both sides agreed to the financial settlement the council approved at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

The city council approved paying Conway the damages for lost income, profits and costs increases due to the delays created by the city’s Stop Work Order, as well as the litigation that followed.

A press released issued late Thursday afternoon by Mayor Dick Heaton’s office noted that the lawsuit’s unique circumstances warranted a press release, since Heaton and Conway are both first cousins and long-term business partners.

“This lawsuit was resolved under a unique set of circumstances, and only after a trial and resulting court order. There was no favoritism, but rather it was decided in the City’s interest to bring this litigation to an end. The parties resolved this matter with assistance of counsel and a third-party mediator, who was a former circuit judge.”

The terms of the agreement were not released at Tuesday’s council meeting. Media members were advised to file an Open Records Request for details of the settlement, which the Nelson County Gazette had done.

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