Friday, August 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Ocean City might settle boardwalk lawsuit

Ocean City public works employees work to refurbish a portion of the boardwalk last March. The original plan was to use the controversial South American rainforest wood Ipe but things got messy. (Clem Murray / Staff Photographer)
Ocean City public works employees work to refurbish a portion of the boardwalk last March. The original plan was to use the controversial South American rainforest wood Ipe but things got messy. (Clem Murray / Staff Photographer)
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OCEAN CITY, N.J. - This Jersey Shore resort may soon end its battle with a Baltimore lumberyard over a canceled $1.2 million contract for Amazon rain forest wood that was to be used to fix its boardwalk.

Ocean City officials are scheduled to vote Thursday on an agreement under which the city would pay Louis J. Grasmick Lumber Co. damages and accept much of the Brazilian ipe wood it had rejected. The two sides have been suing each other since last year, when the resort broke a contract after receiving tens of thousands of e-mails protesting its planned use of ipe, a hardwood prized for its durability.

Under terms of the proposed settlement, a copy of which was obtained by the Associated Press, Ocean City would pay the lumberyard $100,000 in damages and accept much of the ipe. The shipment also would include yellow pine, which is less durable but comes from renewable domestic sources. All told, the town would pay Grasmick nearly $1 million.

City Councilman Roy Wagner said the city's legal staff advised settling the federal lawsuit, but he declined to elaborate. A Grasmick official declined comment, and the company's lawyer did not immediately return a message seeking comment yesterday.   - AP

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