Warren County Officials Claim CVS Reneged On Agreement
Posted November 6, 2003 4:44 a.m. EST
WARREN COUNTY, N.C. — Warren County commissioners claim CVS reneged on a multimillion-dollar business agreement. To make matters worse, a judge will not let the county sue to get the money back.
Undeveloped land near Manson cost Warren County hundreds of thousands of dollars. With fanfare from state and local officials in 1999, CVS announced a
$60 million distribution center
for that area. For the job-starved county, the project was supposed to mean employment for hundreds.
However a year later, CVS canceled its Warren County plans in favor of expanding its operations at its Henderson plant.
Warren County, which had already secured the land, sued CVS to recoup the loss. Just as the lawsuit was ready to go to trial, the presiding judge dismissed Warren County's claim, leaving the county with nothing to show for its efforts.
"This has been a hard struggle to accept that," Commissioner Ulysses Ross said.
"We have spent $1.3 million on this totally and Warren County is a very small community," Commissioner Jan Humphries said. "We don't have a huge budget and we don't have the pockets that are as deep as CVS."
Despite the loss in court, Ross said he feels the county must continue to focus on new jobs.
"We need jobs. We need better housing and we've got to move forward," he said.
Despite spending more than $1 million of taxpayers' money on the unsuccessful effort, the county commissioners will decide next week whether to spend more money to appeal the judge's decision. Legal fees alone have cost Warren County $700,000.