BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) – A lawsuit filed by the City of Bristol, Virginia against the Bristol Virginia Public Utilities Authority (BVU) in 2020 could come to an end this week.

Both parties will discuss a proposed agreement between BVU and the city. The Bristol, Virginia City Council will review the deal Tuesday night at its meeting, and BVU leaders have called a special meeting to discuss it on Thursday.

The lawsuit stems from the city’s claims that BVU owed the city millions of dollars under an agreement that the parties would split the proceeds from the sale of BVU’s OptiNet Division years earlier. The city claimed in 2020 that BVU had not given the city any money from the 2018 sale and further claimed that BVU had retroactively reinstated the debt to the utility provider to keep all proceeds from the sale.

A proposed settlement between BVU and the city would release both parties from any claim, demand, action or liability. It would also require BVU to make a one-time cash payment to Bristol in the amount of $2.1 million. That payment would be made within 30 days of signing the agreement.

In addition, the agreement outlines guidance for future BVU payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT).

On the city side, the agreement provides that BVU will remain Bristol’s refuse billing contractor and will be compensated at a new higher rate of 8.5% of the amount billed.

Also detailed in the agreement are procedures for developing a property at Bonham Rd. and Old Airport Rd. The city has a “land sale or development option agreement” with developer KBM Commercial Properties. The agreement would grant BVU authorities with respect to development.

The proposed settlement can be read in its entirety below:

When the lawsuit was first filed in 2020, Bristol demanded a jury trial and sought at least $6.5 million in damages.


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