City of Highland sued over alleged failure to entice business

By Kelly Holleran | Feb 5, 2013

A manufacturing company claims it has lost contracts because of the city of Highland’s alleged failure to fulfill its end of a bargain designed to entice business to its town.

Neste Manufacturing filed a lawsuit Jan. 29 in Madison County Circuit Court against the City of Highland.

In its complaint, Neste alleges it agreed to bring its business to Highland in exchange for the economic development incentives the city was offering. The incentives include a promised abatement of real estate taxes for five years, payment for the creation of full-time jobs, an abatement of electrical charges and a waiver of electrical connection charges and applicable permit fees, according to the complaint.

Neste entered into a three-year lease agreement to establish its manufacturing operation in Highland. At the time, Neste had already secured a valid contract with PetitNest for the manufacture of furniture, which would have created full-time jobs in Highland, the suit states.

Highland had known of Neste’s contract and had agreed to pay for the start-up costs necessary to begin Neste’s business, the complaint says.

The suit claims that even though Neste has repeatedly demanded payment for its costs, Highland has failed to follow through on its purported promises.

“As a direct and foreseeable result of Defendant’s breach of the agreement, the plaintiff has incurred damages, specifically the loss of all contracts with the purchaser of its products,” the suit states.

In its two-count complaint, Neste seeks a judgment of more than $2,047,000, plus pre-judgment interest, collection costs, attorney’s fees and court costs.

Todd W. Sivia and Jordan P. Koerner of Sivia Business and Legal Services in Edwardsville will be representing it.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-139.

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