Boardwalk brawl over rainforest wood

March 24, 2008 2:26:19 PM PDT
Ocean City has countersued a Baltimore lumber company over tropical rainforest wood the city planned to use to repair part of its boardwalk. The Louis J. Grasmick Lumber Company filed its federal lawsuit last month, shortly after the city decide to cancel the contract.

In its reply filed this month, Ocean City offered to pay for the wood it's already used and return the rest.

But they also claim Grasmick violated its contract in several ways.

The dispute stems from the City Council's decision to break a decade-old pledge not to use rainforest wood to repair its boardwalk.

City officials say they were swayed by the promise that the wood they would be buying from Grasmick would be certified as having been harvested responsibly.

But numerous delays occurred.

And the city terminated the contract in January, claiming Grasmick had defaulted on it.