The former Consolidated Grain elevator in Brandenburg that spurred the litigation back in 2019.
On Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 8:15 a.m., a special called meeting of the Meade County Fiscal Court was called to order. A motion was made to settle with the Lincoln Trail Grain Growers Association to drop their case and pay the attorney fees for the farmers. Judge/executive Leslie Stith asked for clarification that the money the fiscal court was agreeing to pay was different from the total amount of money being paid to settle the case. County Attorney Jessica Roberts stated that was correct because other parties were also contributing to the settlement. Though those parties were not mentioned by name, there are three checks going to the LTGGA's attorneys, meaning two other undisclosed parties at this time are contributing to the settlement. The amount of the settlement also has not been released at this time. Magistrates Billy Sipes, Steve Wardrip, Eli Dix, Tom Goddard and Randall Hardesty all voted to pay the settlement with Magistrate Gary Chapman absent. Judge Stith also voted yes "under protest to how the settlement is being paid."
The court then voted to accept transfers and claims. The county attorney then read the following press release prior to the meeting being adjourned:
" Meade County Fiscal Court and the Lincoln Trail Grain Growers Association have mutually agreed to settle the civil litigation currently pending in the Meade Circuit Court over the removal of the grain elevator operation on the Ohio River. The Court of Appeals recently found that the farmers had standing to pursue their case. However, the Court of Appeals’ opinion was not a final ruling on whether the fiscal court violated any statutes, nor did it finally resolve any of the other issues raised in litigation.
During the pendency of the litigation, Meade County Fiscal Court and Meade County-Brandenburg Industrial Authority have been involved in substantial efforts to bring a new grain elevator to the community. A joint project with Harrison County, Indiana was announced on Tuesday, January 11, 2022.
Rather than engage in continued and prolonged litigation over those issues, the parties mutually agreed to terminate the litigation by reimbursing the LTGGA’s attorney fees and the farmers releasing all claims. Meade County Fiscal Court and Meade County-Brandenburg Industrial Authority are happy to continue to work with the farmers to make a new grain elevator a reality for our community and local farmers."