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Pending Lawsuits Causing Budget Concerns for South Portland

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - An ongoing federal lawsuit has spurred South Portland officials to set aside an additional $250,000 for legal services in the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The Portland Press Herald reports that some city councilors are concerned that the money won't cover the fees connected to the Portland Pipe Line Corp.'s lawsuit challenging South Portland's Clear Skies ordinance.

The suit could cost taxpayers upward of $1 million if the city loses and is required to pay the pipeline's legal fees.

In the new municipal budget, the council is seeking to allocate $185,000 for contracted legal services while setting aside $200,000 in reserve funds.

City Manager Jim Gailey says South Portland has spent $186,975 on the pipeline lawsuit and a propane suit since February 2015.