South Bend councilman reacts to Mishawaka's quickly-passed ordin - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

South Bend councilman reacts to Mishawaka's quickly-passed ordinance

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Fox28 continues to follow a developing story from Mishawaka. On Monday night, the city passed an ordinance. It claims rights to sewer and water service for some unincorporated areas of the county.

Mayor Dave Wood says it was meant to protect Mishawaka from a competing ordinance in South Bend. He says the two cities have been operating under a gentleman's agreement, but South Bend's ordinance would claim land that Mishawaka always had dibs on.

Mishawaka's ordinance essentially formalizes the gentleman's agreement.

We spoke with South Bend Councilman David Varner about what the city will do now. He says they'll likely amend their ordinance to compliment Mishawaka's and respect that gentleman's agreement.

"Even in our wildest dreams, we couldn't adopt something that would probably lead to a court case," says Varner. "There's none of us who believe Mishawaka would sit on the sidelines and say, 'Sure, go ahead. Draw a boundary around us.'"

A Mishawaka City Attorney says rights to claim territory operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. That's why Mishawaka acted so quickly.

Varner says the South Bend Council was also asked to fast-track their ordinance, but they chose not to.

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