446 A.2d 792 (Vt. 1982), 132-81, Town of Cavendish v. Vermont Public Power Supply Authority

Docket Nº:132-81.
Citation:446 A.2d 792, 141 Vt. 144
Opinion Judge:Hill, J.
Party Name:TOWN OF CAVENDISH v. VERMONT PUBLIC POWER SUPPLY AUTHORITY.
Attorney:Paul, Frank & Collins, Inc., Burlington, and Sarah E. Vail, Chester, for Plaintiff. Paterson, Walke & Pratt, P.C., Montpelier, for Defendant.
Case Date:April 06, 1982
Court:Supreme Court of Vermont
 
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Page 792

446 A.2d 792 (Vt. 1982)

141 Vt. 144

TOWN OF CAVENDISH

v.

VERMONT PUBLIC POWER SUPPLY AUTHORITY.

No. 132-81.

Supreme Court of Vermont.

April 6, 1982

Page 793

Paul, Frank & Collins, Inc., Burlington, and Sarah E. Vail, Chester, for plaintiff.

Paterson, Walke & Pratt, P. C., Montpelier, for defendant.

Before [141 Vt. 144] BARNEY, C. J., BILLINGS, HILL and UNDERWOOD, JJ., and DALEY, J. (Ret.), Specially Assigned.

[141 Vt. 146] HILL, Justice.

The Town of Cavendish appeals from an order of the Public Service Board dismissing its petition for declaratory relief against the defendant-appellee Vermont Public Power Supply Authority. We affirm.

On October 23, 1980, the Town filed a petition with the Board seeking a declaratory ruling concerning three actions of the defendant Authority. First, the Town challenged a $6,000,000 loan obtained by the Authority as improper under 30 V.S.A. § 108(a). Second, the petition attacked the validity of a contract signed by the Authority, which provided for the purchase of forty per cent ownership in the proposed Black River Hydro Electric Project. Third, the Town alleged that the Authority violated its enabling legislation in granting member status to the Town of Springfield. The petition requested a temporary restraining order, and a declaration that each of the challenged actions was invalid.

On February 18, 1981, the Public Service Board denied the petition for injunctive and declaratory relief. The Board held that the Town's petition did not raise an actual controversy between the plaintiff and the Authority. The Board also denied declaratory relief on discretionary grounds. It held that the Town had other forums to pursue its grievances. Furthermore, any decision on the Black River project would not redress the Town's claims, as the project could be built by other parties despite the declaratory relief.

The issues have narrowed on appeal. First, the appellant does not challenge the denial of a temporary restraining order. Second, this Court's decision in In re Vermont Public Power Supply Authority, 140 Vt. 424, 440 A.2d 140 (1981), has mooted the appellant's claims in reference to the $6,000,000 loan. In that case, we held that the Town of Cavendish could intervene as a matter of right in separate proceedings[141 Vt. 147] to determine the validity of the loan. See Id. at ---, 440 A.2d at 140. The once live...

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