Court rules ComEd must negotiate Barrie disputes with parks

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A judge last week ordered Commonwealth Edison to re-enter negotiations with the Park District of Oak Park regarding the district's lingering concerns over the restoration of Barrie Park.

The park district is now expected to meet with ComEd officials before a second court hearing on Feb. 14, said district attorney Russ Selman.

The district filed a lawsuit against ComEd two weeks ago, arguing the utility company has refused to discuss various outstanding issues at Barrie Park, ranging from paperwork to reimbursement of various expenses.

"This is a victory that kicked the door open. We will attempt to hash out our differences," Selman said.

If negotiations prove unsuccessful, disputes surrounding environmental documents will be reviewed by a professional mediator. Issues concerning the district's contract with ComEd, and reimbursement of expenses, will be considered by a judge, Selman said.

ComEd spokesperson Ernesto Duran did not wish to comment on specifics of the lawsuit, but said the utility company has not violated its contract with the park district.

"We believe we've met every single standard in the contract," he said. "This cleanup meets the highest standards. We will meet to bring the project to closure."

Duran also said ComEd has cooperated with the park district, and believes portions of the park could have been opened to the public months ago.

ComEd has offered to meet with the district's insurer to work out any potential obstacles to a re-opening, he added.

?#34;Katharine Grayson


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