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Port reaches settlement in Horizon building lawsuit

The Port of Sunnyside has reached a mediated settlement with B7 Engineering-T.W Bardell P.E. firm of Sunnyside after a day-long mediation session held Thursday behind closed doors at the law offices of Hart and Winfree in Sunnyside.

The Port commissioners and their attorney met with Tim Bardell, owner of B7 Engineering and his attorney in order to settle a two-year-old dispute over costs involved on the Port's Horizon building construction project.

Bardell, who has been in the engineering business for nine years in Sunnyside, said he was glad the situation has been settled.

"This was just a job gone sour and I'm glad it's over," Bardell said.

The commissioners met at Port attorney Steve Winfree's office from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., in executive session to hammer out the settlement language before reaching an agreement, said Port Manager Amber Hansen.

The mediated settlement calls for Bardell to pay the Port District $50,000, Hansen said.

The Port filed a lawsuit against Bardell's firm earlier this year as the result of contested cost overruns incurred during 2002 during the construction of the Horizon building, explained Hansen.

Commissioners asked Bardell to step away from the project in late 2002, due to their questions about what they deemed as design errors in the East Edison Avenue building plans.

According to Hansen, the project was originally expected to cost $1.6 million to complete, but due to the unexpected and extensive change orders on the project, the construction ended up costing the Port $1.7 million.

The building was completed in January 2003 and occupied by its first tenants later in the same year.

According to the language of the mediated settlement, Bardell will have until July 31 to pay the settlement amount, Hansen added.

The Horizon building now houses Horizon Inc. and Sunnyside Beauty Academy, with space for several other businesses, Hansen added.

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