County asked to intervene in Elkhart sewer dispute
Posted: 03/18/2013 at 10:40 pm
By: Dan Spalding
With a little more than a day to go, Elkhart County Commissioners may seek to block the city from disconnecting sewer service by denying permits needed for the county road right-of-way.
That’s the basis of a claim presented by Jon Nelson to the Elkhart City Council on Monday night, March 18.
Paperwork provided by Nelson and presented to council members says the county considers the shut-off of sewer service an “unnecessary health hazard.”
Nelson, a leader among the Valley View holdouts, said he met with county commissioner Frank Lucchese on Monday and that he was under the impression paperwork from the county would be given to Mayor Dick Moore on Tuesday, March 19.
Neither Lucchese nor Moore were unavailable for comment late Monday night.
If the county intervenes, it would represent a last-minute reprieve in the standoff between Valley View residents and the city utilities department, which last week threatened to turn off sewer service Wednesday, March 20, to any households that refused to sign a compact agreement for service.
The move added a complicating twist as the remaining residents — estimated to be less than 20 — had until the end of Tuesday to decide.
The city issued door tags and sent letters to residents Friday, March 15, announcing the service would be cut off Wednesday.
Most of the 90 or so residents have signed the compact agreement, but some have continued to refuse, partly because of concerns over a provision that would prohibit residents from opposing any future plans should the city choose to seek to annex the subdivision located south of city limit.
The county paperwork underscores the right of the city’s jurisdiction, but also refers to a 1992 interlocal agreement in which the county provided assistance in the engineering and construction of sewer lines in Valley View as part of the reason for its involvement.