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Ex-Selectman Agrees to Pay Back Charlestown for Pool Cover

Charlestown — A tentative agreement was reached Wednesday between the town and a former Selectboard member in a dispute over a pool cover, a day before the case was scheduled for trial.

Charlestown Town Administrator Dave Edkins said the town has signed the agreement and it is now awaiting the signature of Doug Ring, who cashed a check for payment to buy a cover for the town pool, but which he never delivered. Edkins said Ring made the offer to pay back the $6,600 deposit for the cover over a period of time.

Edkins stressed that nothing is final until Ring signs the agreement.

“This came about rather quickly and we consulted with our attorney and agreed it was probably the best way to go,” Edkins said. “It was far enough along for us to cancel the court hearing (which was scheduled for today.)”

The town filed a civil complaint against Ring in Claremont 5th Circuit Court in January this year alleging two counts of breach of contract and one count of unfair and deceptive trade practices.

According to court documents, the town alleged that Ring accepted $6,600 to buy the cover but never delivered, or even ordered, the product and failed to return the deposit, despite several attempts by the town asking him to do so.

In previous interviews, Ring acknowledged owing the money and said he would pay it back, but accused the town of refusing to work with him on a payment schedule.

Ring declined to comment when reached last night.

In December 2011, the Selectboard voted 2-0 to buy a pool cover and blower from Ring’s business, Ringscape Pool and Spas, and gave him a $7,200 deposit. Ring cashed the check in January and later delivered the $600 blower but not the cover, which had a total value of $9,000.

The town was asking the court to order Ring to return the deposit and also pay the difference between the cover Ring was to supply for $9,000 and the one the town bought for $9,500 along with the cost of additional maintenance and spring cleaning of the pool because the second cover was not installed until fall after leaves and pine needles fell in the water. It further asked the court to triple the damages.

Ring was a member of the Selectboard when it voted to buy the cover from his business but he did not vote on the matter.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at ogrady56@yahoo.com