“The city sabotaged its own efforts in the funding application by the submission of a false affidavit by the mayor of the city to the great alarm of the government officials and the surprise of the bonding and finance professionals who were a part of the application team,” attorneys for E.S. & C.M. wrote in December, noting that Willow Park had not addressed that issue in court filings.
TWDB indicated that once the affidavit issue was addressed, it was willing to re-engage the application process, according to E.S.& C.M., which stood to gain $1.12 million over the course of the full project.
The company was contacted by then city administrator Claude Arnold in July 2007 to begin designing and preparing construction documents for the project, as well as help them seek funding from the Texas Water Development Board. E.S. & C.M. began submitting invoices to the city before the first of the year but the city did not formally sign a contract with them until January 2008, according to court records.
E.S. & C.M. agreed to defer billing the city for the full amount of work it was completing until the city received the funding needed to complete the project, though the city did budget for the entire “first phase” portion of the project, court documents state.
In 2010, the city of Willow Park withdrew its application to TCEQ for the project, according to Mayor Richard Neverdousky, who said the project as envisioned five years ago will not occur.
After repeated failed attempts to collect the money, the company, which has a 25-year working relationship with the city, filed suit against the city in April 2011.
The city is seeking unspecified damages in a counterclaim filed with the district clerk’s office on Dec. 19. Willow Park alleges E.S. & C.M. failed to fulfill the terms of the contract by not submitting detailed progress reports with their invoices as required by the agreement.