Sturtevent, Wisconsin, officials have launched litigation against Amtrak over what the village describes as unpaid fees for repair work done on the station last year.
The work involved replacement of the steel bottoms of four glass shelter buildings at the train station, which had rusted over the years
Village Engineer Jeff Seitz said Amtrak leases the depot from Sturtevent and is responsible for 85 percent of its maintenance costs but not for capital improvements.
Amtrak contends the repair work was a capital improvement not a maintenance matter and has declined to pay for the repairs.
“Despite repeated demands, defendants have failed and refused to pay the remaining balance due,” the lawsuit says.
Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said that the rail passenger carrier is aware of the lawsuit and will respond in court.
Seitz said the lawsuit was expected because the village and Amtrak had been talking about the project, including price quotes, for about a year before the Village Board directed him to get the work performed and then file a claim.
He said it is the first such dispute the village has ever had with Amtrak. Sturtevent officials hopes that a judge will be able to come up with a better definition of what is maintenance and what is a capital improvement at the depot.
The Wisconsin city near Racine is served by Amtrak’s Hiawatha Service trains.