It seems rather preposterous that Edgerton and Gardner can’t come to terms over a disputed $80,000 wastewater bill.
That’s less than the annual salary of some staff positions, and it is definitely less than what some $300 an hour lawyers will charge in billable hours to litigate.
Although details regarding the dispute are as murky as the wastewater treated at the jointly owned plant, both sides have drawn a line in the “sand” and are defending their positions.
Somebody needs to step up like a high school principal, grab a few collars and say, “Figure it out.”
Even without knowing the details, it’s pretty obvious it shouldn’t take three years to settle the dispute. There has to be more at play here than wastewater treatment.
The two cities are partners in this facility; it was built cooperatively for the benefit of all taxpayers. And that’s how it should stay.
Wasting taxpayer money to litigate an $80,000 bill is — silly.
While we understand that after three years something had to be done to get Gardner off dead center, put posturing aside; both entities need to grow up and settle the bill.
Gardner should use the same policy they use with residential users who dispute water and sewer bills that seem overly expensive – research the issue, make adjustments and tell the customer to pay up.
Make payment arrangements if money is an issue.
But we’ve never heard of a water/sewer dispute with an area customer being extended for three years.
We’re adults here. Disagreements occur.
But not every disagreement has to be decided in court.
Here’s an idea –
Appoint a committee with a representative from each city; give them a 30 day deadline to itemize the bill and find a solution.
Split the difference.
That would not only save money in salaries and litigation, it would also promote goodwill and save time.
Time better spent managing and growing two wonderful communities.
Edgerton and Gardner are neighbors.
And while we often lose patience with our neighbors, lawsuits aren’t the best answer.