PARIS — Oxford County commissioners unanimously agreed Thursday to a $250,000 settlement with Oxford Aviation to resolve a legal issue.

The settlement relieves the county from liability in a lawsuit and removes maintenance obligations from a lease with the aircraft refurbishing company based at the county-owned Oxford Regional Airport. In exchange for the lease modification, the company will cease paying a monthly rent to the county.

Oxford Aviation filed a lawsuit against the county in August of 2008 charging breach of contract and requesting indemnification in any legal matters arising from maintenance issues at the airport. It said that the county had failed to adequately fix a roof leak that was first noted in 2005 and grew significantly worse in January of 2008. As a result, the lawsuit stated, damage was done to the facility including mold that led to employee health issues.

The county responded that extensive repair and mold remediation work costing over $100,000 had been done at the facility in response to the complaints. It accused Oxford Aviation of contributing to the problem by not immediately reporting the leak in 2005, and failing to pay its $1,800 rent for April and May of 2009.

The company responded that roof leak and mold issues persisted following the county repairs, and that there was no dispute that the county had failed to live up to the terms of its lease. A lease signed between Oxford County and Oxford Aviation in 1996 and good through 2027 requires the county to maintain buildings at the airport.

Under the settlement, the county and company agree to modify the lease to remove the maintenance obligation. This section also calls for Oxford Aviation’s monthly rent to be reduced to zero, and allows for further changes to the lease as necessary.

“It is the intent of the parties to modify the lease to clarify the parties’ mutual obligations pursuant to the lease,” the settlement says.

The lawsuit against the county will be dismissed upon the receipt of the $250,000 payment. The settlement creates a schedule where $50,000 is to be paid immediately with additional payments of $100,000 by March 10, $50,000 by June 1, and $50,000 by Sept. 1.

The lawsuit was partially incorporated into a civil action currently pending in the Maine District Court between the Overhead Door Co. and Oxford Aviation. The settlement removes the county from that case and indemnifies it from any claims there.

The agreement states that the terms are a compromise and should not be considered an admission of fault or liability by either party. It says that disagreements related to the lease will be addressed by existing dispute resolution provisions of the lease, while disagreements involving the settlement will be heard before former Maine District Court Judge John McElwee or another person agreeable to the county and company.

Jim Horowitz, president of Oxford Aviation, thanked the commissioners and county Administrator Scott Cole for their work on the settlement.

“I think it’s a good plan for us all,” he said.

Chairman Steve Merrill said the final details of the settlement will be worked out in the next few weeks. He said he also found the settlement agreeable.

“It’s a great step forward,” he said.

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