For more than three years the Town of Princeton and the Vermilion Trails Society have fought over this caboose. (Spotlight file photo)

For more than three years the Town of Princeton and the Vermilion Trails Society have fought over this caboose. (Spotlight file photo)

Battle over Princeton’s caboose is over

Details of settlement won’t be released until 2021

After more than three years of wrangling, the brakes have been put on the legal battle over Princeton’s caboose.

However, it won’t be until April 2021 when details of an agreement, reached in civil court between the municipality and the Vermilion Trails Society (VTS), will be made public.

“We’ve reached a little bit of a settlement, ” said Princeton CAO Lyle Thomas.

“I can’t discuss the details of the settlement because there is a deadline…of certain actions that need to take place.”

According to the town’s director of finance James Graham, the disagreement has cost Princeton taxpayers approximately $20,000 so far in lawyer’s fees.

Mayor Spencer Coyne expressed relief with the development. “It will be good to have it come to an end,” he said.

Related: Princeton’s caboose battle pulls back into court

In April 2020 – when open court sessions were ceased because of COVID – the VTS withdrew its claim against the town, the Spotlight learned recently.

VTS president Bill Allinot declined to comment when contacted by the newspaper last week.

The fight over the caboose arose in May 2017 when the VTS accused a previous town council and administration of train robbery, lodged a complaint with the RCMP and filed a lawsuit against the municipality.

Related: Princeton town council responds to caboose story

A year earlier, town staff had moved the caboose from its home along the KVR trail, at the intersection of Bridge Street and Highway 3, to its present location near Subway.

The municipality placed newspaper ads, seeking a partner who might use the rail car to host a tourism-based enterprise.

Both the town and the VTS said they could prove ownership of the artifact, which has been located at various places in Princeton over the years – the fairgrounds, downtown and at the museum.

The original lawsuit sought $6,608 for damages caused to its fence when the caboose was moved, $20 for a lock and $28,371 for unspecified damages.

That claim also estimated the caboose’s value at $60,000.

It was later altered, adjusting the caboose’s value in order to keep the total damages below $35,000 and therefore within the sphere of a small claims judgment.

Related: Five day trial needed to resolve custody of Princeton’s caboose

During the March small claims court session, Judge Greg Koturbash estimated the matter would take five days to resolve.

He ordered a request for a special Princeton court sitting, as circuit court is held here only once each month for a maximum of two days.

While noting the case is interesting, Koturbash expressed a wish to be “on holidays” during that time.

Matthew Voell, counsel for the Town of Princeton, and Jaimie Kidston, representing the VTS, each said they had eight witnesses to bring forward.

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Downtown Revelstoke. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
COVID-19 holds steady in Revelstoke at 16 new cases

The numbers are from Jan. 10 to 16

The Stoked Cubs U11 girls hockey team is the first girls team in Revelstoke in a long time. (Submitted)
Revelstoke’s girls hockey team skating towards $100,000 competition

The U11 team pitched support for the food bank in a submission to the Good Deed’s Cup

Calls for potential overdoses in B.C. spiked in 2020, especially in the Okanagan - Shuswap. Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. (BCHES)
Overdose calls spike in 2020 across the Okanagan – Shuswap

Stats show every major community in Okanagan - Shuswap increased in calls for potential overdoses

The BC SPCA is adapting its fundraising after cancelling events due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
BC SPCA gets creative with fundraising as pandemic continues

The non-profit’s in-person fundraising events all had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to a single-vehicle rollover Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, after a vehicle came into contact with a pedestrian light pole at Kalamalka Lake Road and 14th Avenue. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Minor injuries in rollover after vehicle hits Vernon crosswalk pole

The vehicle flipped onto its side, closing Kalamalka Lake Road

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Penticton city council heard from Dhorea Ramanula, of Paid Employment for People with Lived Experiences Tuesday, Jan. 19. Ramanula’s organization has operated public washrooms in Kelowna staffed by community support workers since April, she says Penticton could benefit from a similar facility. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)
Penticton interested in new public washroom concept to combat vandalism

Public washrooms with on-site support staff have been operating in Kelowna since April

Canada Post had remove a lot of letter boxes around Penticton after they were vandalized. This letter box at the United Church on Main St. remains unscathed. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Street mailbox vandals strike Penticton drop boxes

Canada Post had to remove a bunch of the vandalized units

Esa Carriere, 23, was the victim of a 2018 Canada Day homicide. (File)
Youth sentenced in Kelowna Canada Day killing

Young woman pleaded guilty to lesser assault charge, sentenced to 15-month intensive support and supervision program

Most Read