Water lawsuit could be on the way in Weld

GREELEY — The city council at its Tuesday, Sept. 21, meeting authorized city attorney Doug Marek to “initiate appropriate legal action including, but not limited to” a lawsuit against Taylor & Gill Ditch Co. and its president, William Seaworth, in a dispute over excess carrying capacity in the ditch.

City council agenda documents said Greeley in 2014 paid Taylor & Gill $119,000 for first rights to buy excess carrying capacity in the ditch. The city said the ditch company notified them on Dec. 5, 2018, of an offer by Seaworth to buy excess capacity and that the city tried to exercise its right of refusal.

Seaworth, a Fort Collins area businessman, is president of Taylor & Gill, which has its roots in Laporte and a Fort Collins office.

The agenda documents said Greeley and the company attempted negotiations for “several months” but this ended and “Recently, the city learned that the Company had already entered into” a deal on excess ditch capacity with Seaworth a day before the company told the city about it.

The city said Seaworth as Taylor & Gill president knew about the right of first refusal and “The lawsuit will seek damages for breach of contract because Greeley did not receive the benefit of the agreement.”

The resolution approved this past Tuesday lets Marek pursue the claims.

Marek declined comment; attempts to contact a city spokesperson weren’t successful. Seaworth, reached by phone, declined comment.

The resolution was on the consent agenda for the meeting, which indicates council’s general agreement on an issue. There was no opposition or discussion; the resolution passed unanimously with three other consent items, after all four were read into the record, with all seven members of the council present.© BizWest Media LLC