Lumberyard sues city over boardwalk project

With the sluggish housing market making headlines, even some lumberyards cashing in on the commercial sector can’t catch a break.

According to (New York) Newsday, a Baltimore lumber company has sued the beachside city of Ocean City, N.J., for $1.2 million for canceling a huge order of tropical rainforest wood for a seaside boardwalk project.

Louis J. Grasmick Lumber filed the suit in U.S. District Court, according to the article, against the city for allegedly refusing to pay for the wood even though some of the wood already has been installed on the boardwalk.

Environmental groups, including “Friends of the Rainforest,” also have protested the project, saying the city had pledged “never to use tropical hardwoods on its boardwalk again.” The city’s mayor’s office received more than 50,000 e-mails urging the local government to cancel the contract on environmental grounds, according to the newspaper.

The city did not cite the environmental complaints for terminating the contract, but rather “lengthy delays in delivery” and “uncertainty” as to when the wood would arrive.

The lumberyard said the delays were due to factors beyond its control, including supplier shipping delays and an accident in which a company truck overturned.

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