McLean County legal dispute could impact water rates

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MCLEAN COUNTY, Ky. (WEHT) – Water rates could be going up for customers in one western Kentucky city if a dispute between the city and its water supplier is not solved soon.

The McLean County Regional Water Commission filed a lawsuit against the city of Calhoun saying the city owes the district money. 

According to court documents, the regional water commission claims the city of Calhoun owes them tens of thousands of dollars related to water usage within the city. But the city disputes that claim, and also alleges the regional water commission is actually in a breach of contract with them.

In the complaint filed last August, the commission claims Calhoun Mayor Ron Coleman told them that due to customers not paying bills, the city would pay the commission, “the number of gallons metered out by Calhoun, plus 20%”, and it would keep the practice until the state allows it to end service for non payment. The MCRWC later wrote back, billing them for water, but didn’t get full payments, and it claims the city is in default on payment obligations.

In response, Calhoun officials claim the commission broke the contract when it failed to maintain water mains, and allegedly billed the city for treated water back in 2019 that Calhoun officials claim they did not get. A commission Facebook post from last week says it was not able to make all debt obligation payments, and if it can’t starting next year, it will have to either default on those obligations or increase water rates.

Both regional water commission members and city officials declined to comment on camera about the story. Court records show a trial date has been scheduled for November 9th.

(This story was originally published on April 16, 2021)

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