The Akron Case.
The Akron, Ohio Waterworks Company has filed its answer to the petition of the city of Akron in the court of common pleas, in which the city brings action to compel the company to specific performance of duty in giving the city a suitable and adequate supply of water, which the petition maintains the company has not done. The company practically denies the present contract. In the answer and cross petition reference is made to the original contract between the company and the city in 1880 and to a supplemental contract made in 1894.
After denying practically all the allegations in the city’s petition, the company makes a cross petition in which it asks that the case may be discharged at the city’s cost and a restraining order issued by the court preventing the city from allowing any pollution of the company’s water supply and ordering the necessary legislation passed by the city to prevent such pollution.
Violation of the terms of the city’s share of the contract with the company is alleged. It is alleged the city owes the company thousands of dollars for millions of gallons of water which have been used in cleaning the streets by contractors, which work the city represented it did itself, yet had been done by contractors and the cost of which was assessed against abutting property owners.
The company says its plant was built and its contract with the city made with reference to supplying the city with water obtained from Summit lake and Manning’s pond, this source being sanctioned by the city.
By reason of these places being taken into the city’s limils in 1900 and habitations built adjacent and contiguous thereto, the city permitted pollution of these waters. Such pollution as the city water now has, is alleged by the company to be due to this reason. It is further alleged the city does not live up to the terms of its contract in failing to prevent pollution of Manning’s pond and Summit lake
By reason of the city’s alleged violations of the contract with the company, ii is implied no contract exists between the company and the city at this time. Violations thereof being equivalent to canceling the instrument. The court is informed that the present water contract expires in 1914. giving the company but about three years to run and that the city may refuse to renew the contract at any time. All of these facts, the company says, prevent it from raising necessary funds to make any considerable amount of expenditure for any purpose connected with the plant. Its only source of money is operating the plant.