Bull Moose Tube Co. files suit against City

Linda Trest

City Clerk Jane Hungler confirmed that the City of Gerald has been sued by Bull Moose Tube Company (BMT). 

The suit results from conditions of a lease agreement the City and BMT entered into many years ago.  Two weeks ago The Republican reported that a Certificate of Deposit for more than $30,000 was cashed in to pay for legal fees. The order to cash in the CD was done in an executive session and was not made public. It was only discovered after scrutiny of the amended 2017 budget.

It has now been learned that the money from the CD was used to finance negotiations for better terms in the BMT lease.

Two calls to Jeff Ostermann, Plant Manager at the BMT Gerald location were unanswered Tuesday. 

Hungler declined to give details of the suit, referring instead to the City’s legal counsel, Steven Lucas with Cunningham, Vogel and Rost, PC. 

A press release from that firm reads:

Bull Moose Tube Co. has been a tenant of the City since 1967 on a large parcel of city-owned land in a 100,000 sq. ft. building also owned by the City. BMT was paying only $4600/year in rent. The City had been negotiating with BMT for a new arrangement that was consistent with current market rates. However, BMT filed a surprise lawsuit against the City on February 27 to keep from paying more. 

Cary Parker, Mayor, explained: “The City values its businesses and was hoping to negotiate a fair arrangement that was mutually agreeable. Of course, we are disappointed that BMT chose to sue rather than negotiate.” 

The City plans to defend the suit but is hopeful that BMT may still be willing to agree to a deal that is fair to the City’s taxpayers.

When BMT’s founder first explored the idea of building their new industry in Gerald, city officials were eager to do all they could to encourage and entice him to build in Gerald.

It seems since then, city officials have paid little attention to making sure the terms of the agreement kept up with the times.

BMT is located just north of U.S. Highway 50 near the eastern city limits. According to their website, BMT has eight production facilitis  across North America, including one in Canada with headquarters in St. Louis.

BMT claims to be “currently one of the largest and most profitable manufacturers of mechanical tubing, fire suppression sprinkler tubing and hollow structural section steel tubing in the USA.”