Elkhart sewer dispute takes a new plunge - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Elkhart sewer dispute takes a new plunge


Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore is proposing a new compromise in the ongoing sewer dispute, but city council members say it might not have any legs.

Some Council members worry the mayor's new plan is actually just his old plan with new words.

People who live in the neighborhoods affected by this fell they are basically back to square one.

"It's putting a burden on me," said Joe Nelson, who lives in Valley View.

The delay of a decision in the Elkhart Sewer Dispute is starting to get to the people fighting for a resolution. As the politicians bicker, Nelson says he is left paying a sky high sewer bill.

"We've been charged well over $1 million dollars," said Nelson.

Nelson says leaders at recent meetings have seemed to forget about him and his neighbors. He believes some city officials only seem to care about the businesses this is impacting, but he will make sure his neighborhood has a voice until they get their way.

"Sticking up for our seniors and young families is where I'm at," said Nelson. "I've done it all my life and I'll continue to do that. So I will do this until we get a resolution."

Mayor Dick Moore proposed a new resolution to the sewer dispute at Monday night's meeting. Council members say it would be a five year phase in plan that could eventually even out everyone's sewer rates.

The council chose not to discuss the new plan saying state law prohibits similar resolutions to be discussed twice in the same year.

"The original plan the Mayor proposed, the 35 percent under AV, assessed valuation, was rejected by the majority of the council. So the question is this one significantly different and it is a legal question," said Elkhart City Councilman David Henke.

Councilman Henke is betting the mayor's latest plan is not any different from the original one.

"It's just putting different color lipstick on the same pig," said Henke. "It keeps coming at us, but frankly it's the same thing."

So the saga continues for those affected.

"I'd like to see a resolution as quick as possible," said Nelson.

And for council members, who say they wanted to have this resolved months ago.

"The rest of us were willing and able. We did the work without attorneys. Did the hard stuff and brought it forward, passed it against all odds, simply to have it vetoed," said Henke. "This one is on the mayor."

Messages were left with the Mayor, but he has yet to call back.

Some of the council members are going to have the document reviewed by some people in Indianapolis who specialize in the legality of proposal discussion. If those specialists give the council the go ahead, then they can discuss the mayor's new proposal.

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