WICHITA — Hartmoor Arena, which does business as Hartman Arena, has filed a lawsuit in Sedgwick County District Court against Newton-based Enertech Inc., the company that installed the arena’s wind turbine.
“Hartman Arena . . . was always conceived of as a green venture,” says Zoe Newton, businessman Wink Hartman Sr.’s vice president and general counsel.
“The wind turbine was supposed to be the centerpiece of our green initiative,” Newton says. “Unfortunately, the turbine has never worked or has never worked properly. Mr. Hartman was really disappointed because he was really committed to these green initiatives.”
Newton won’t go into the specifics of the case. Nor will Enertech’s attorney, Paul McCausland, though he says the turbine is working.
According to the lawsuit, here’s what arena officials claim:
The arena entered in an agreement to buy the turbine for $264,400 in October 2008 and paid a deposit of $118,980.
The arena further paid $133,822 to provide a foundation and wiring for the turbine, $19,134 to erect it and an additional $118,980 to Enertech in February 2009.
The hope was to have the turbine operational by the March 2009 Alan Jackson inaugural concert at the arena.
The turbine never worked properly, so in December 2009 the arena demanded that Enertech have the turbine operational by the end of the year or refund its money.
Enertech responded by saying the arena had inadequate amperage service, so the arena spent $23,000 to upgrade the service.
In September 2010, the turbine malfunctioned and flung oil or something similar to it over the arena. The problem continued through October.
The arena revoked its acceptance of the turbine and now is asking for at least $621,310 in damages.
“Filing the suit was really kind of a last resort for the company,” Newton says. “It was not our first response.”
Enertech president Dale Jones, who just got a copy of the lawsuit, says there’s a video of the working turbine on YouTube.
So what happened?
“That’s a very long story, and I probably wouldn’t want to get into details,” Jones says.
McCausland says, “We will be filing an answer and counter claim because my client has not been paid . . . in full.”
We’ll let you know what happens.