PORTLAND — A judge this morning agreed to postpone a trial in a dispute between Pike Industries and the city of Westbrook so that he can review a last-minute settlement proposed by the parties.
The civil trial had been scheduled to begin Monday at Cumberland County Superior Court, with Justice Thomas Humphrey presiding.
But following months of legal wrangling, Pike and Westbrook reached a deal that would allow the company to continue to operate its rock quarry on a limited basis in the Five Star Industrial Park. The City Council voted 4-2 in favor of the proposed consent agreement at its meeting Wednesday night.
This morning, Justice Humphrey postponed the trial and gave the parties until Sept. 20 to file papers with the court indicating their positions on the proposal. After receiving those papers Humphrey will set a date for a hearing on whether he should accept or reject the deal. A final decision by the judge could come as early as next month.
“I’m really looking to push this process forward efficiently,” Humphrey said. “I think we need to move on a relatively short timetable.”
Lawyers for the city and for Pike, as well as the lawyers for an intervenor in the court case, Idexx Laboratories, support the consent agreement and they will urge Humphrey to sign off on the 25-page document.
Two other intervenors in the case, however, oppose the deal. Representatives of Artel and Smiling Hill Farm say the consent agreement is deeply flawed and was rushed in front of the City Council.