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Developer drops lawsuit

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Weststar Investments had sued Carroll County over what it called a "mutual mistake" in a property transfer.

By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

 HILLSVILLE — A private developer has dropped a lawsuit against the Carroll Public Service Authority that alleged tax credits were promised in return for a pump station in 2008.

A pump station was mistakenly transferred to Weststar Investments with three acres off U.S. 58 as the company sought the land for development.

The public service authority needs that pump station for the recently completed Woodlawn wastewater project to get sewage to Galax for treatment.

Weststar Investments owner Marshall Lineberry transferred the pump station to the Carroll public water and sewer service at "no cost," resolving the matter.

Lineberry filed a complaint last June with the Carroll County Circuit Court alleging a "mutual mistake" by the two parties.

While the deed of transfer stated the land changed hands for $10 and “other good and valuable consideration,” the court papers filed by Weststar said that “your plaintiff conveyed the aforesaid real estate with the understanding that he would be able to receive a $40,000 tax credit as consideration for the transaction.”

When the action was filed, Lineberry asked the court to void the deed transferring the pump station back to the county.

In October, Weststar asked the court to dismiss its action against the PSA without prejudice. This came after an attorney for the county filed questions and document requests against Weststar Investments in the case.

Carroll's motion included 12 questions and made seven document requests from Weststar. The motion asked the developer to identify its expert witnesses, to describe the company's financial assets, to produce all federal and state tax returns, all paperwork from the agreement with the PSA and more.

"Identify and describe in detail any and all efforts made by you to obtain a tax credit as described in the complaint..." the county's request said. "Identify and describe in detail all financial assets and liabilities of Weststar Investments, LLC, and any related entities and Marshall Lineberry, individually, for the time period Jan. 1, 2003 to the present."

Asked for comment by The Gazette on dismissing the suit, Lineberry said he just had to let the matter go. That makes more economic sense to him than continuing the case.

Nothing was written down in his conversations with county officials, Lineberry said. Maybe he remembered it wrong after 2.5 years, he told The Gazette.

He said he has more important matters to attend to now, including getting a tenant for his building off U.S. 58 (near the pump station) and in the Market Village shops at the Southwestern Virginia Farmers Market.

Lineberry said he blames himself for making an elementary mistake in business. "I chalk it up as a mistake on my part."

It's better that he just dropped the suit. "Ever since I done it, I felt at peace with myself and went on."