RICHMOND - A multi-year long case involving the town, the state and a businessman regarding the property he owns off Skunk Hill Road could very well be over by next week.
The town council has granted Town Solicitor Karen Ellsworth with the authority to sign a stipulation that will officially dismiss the case brought by the town, as well as the state, against Richard Romanoff, owner of Richie Realty Corp.
Ellsworth, along with other lawyers, will meet with Superior Court Judge Judith Savage next Thursday, Oct. 27, at a status conference at which a dismissal stipulation is expected to be presented. Once Ellsworth signs that stipulation, the town will put the case that has spanned the better part of the last decade in the history books.
All parties involved in the case agreed to a consent order in 2009 detailing a 7-phase plan for Romanoff to clean up and stabilize his property. The seven phases of the project had deadlines stretching from Oct. 1, 2009 to Sept. 1, 2011.
On Wednesday, Oct. 5, Dean Audet and Terry Gray, two engineers and professional witnesses in the case, conducted a walkover of the Skunk Hill Road site to determine that all requirements had been met by Romanoff.
“Terry and Dean confirmed that all seven phases have been completed,” said Ellsworth. “In other words, Mr. Romanoff did everything he needed to do under the consent order.”
Audet and Gray had been working with the town on this case since the initial complaint was filed, according to Ellsworth.
“We figured out early on that we needed advise from experts, they have been advising the state and the town,” she said.
For more information, pick up a copy of The Chariho Times.