The Racine Water Case
City Attorney E. R. Burgess, of Racine, Wis., in the case of the Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co., of New York, as trustee for the bondholders of the Racine W ater Company, to restrain the latter company from selling its rights and properties to the city, has filed answer to the complaint of the trust company in which he asks the Federal Court at Milwaukee to estop that concern from further proceedings at the present time. In it he says: “The plaintiff well knew that the franchise of the company was to expire in 25 years from March, 1886, and that it well knew of die surrender of such franchise and the taking of an indeterminate permit, and that said permit provided that the city might purchase at any time. That the trust company. as trustee and the bondholders, knew of the provisions of the law because it was widely discussed in Wisconsin and other states. That in 1911 the people of Racine voted in favor of purchasing the waterworks system and that various proceedings were had thereafter by the company to stop the city from acquiring the system by purchase. That the trust company left all matters entirely to the water company to fight out, and did not appear in the proceedings until 1911. when a temporary injunction was issued restraining the city from further proceedings hut was later dissolved and the main action was dismissed after the city had insisted on bringing the matter to a hearing. Hearings were then held on the valuation of the property and again the Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co. left all matters to the Racine Water Co. It should be estopped from proceeding further at the present time for the reason that it well knew that the Racine Water Co. had surrendered its franchise and taken an indeterminate permit, and that it permitted the city of Racine to go to a large expense for the purpose of presenting its views, on valuations and for not appearing in said matters.”
A bond issue of $27,000 for putting in water works extensions and for refunding other bonds and warrants was voted recently at an election held in Toledo, Ore.