WATER WORKS LITIGATION

WATER WORKS LITIGATION

The courts of Omaha, Neb., uphold the city’s contention that the property of the Metropolitan water district is not taxable. Florence had brought suit to compel the payment of taxes by the water district on the property in that village.

With the Olympia, Wash., city council Mayor George A. Mottman has filed copies of two affidavits introduced in the recent suit brought by the Olympia Water Works against him tor libel. The water company was given nominal damages, the jury finding for it on every count and against the mayor. As a result a special council meeting will investigate the source of the water supplied the citizens of Olympia.

The Josey-Miller Company, of Beaumont, Tex., whose grain elevator and warehouse were burned in September, has filed suit against the Beaumont Water Works Company for alleged breach of contract. Plaintiff alleges that it had contracted with the water company for water for fire protection and that when tire broke out in the elevator, water pressure had been cut off and there were QO means of checking the fire. Plaintiff asks for $77,032.18 damages.

Litigation was started Dec. 4 between the city of Edwardsville, Ill., and the Edwardsville Water Company. The differences grew out of the pass age of an ordinance more than a year ago, in which the water rates were reduced to 30 cents for 1,000 gallons. The water company got an injunction at the time in the Federal Court. After some testimony was heard a temporary arrangement was made for a 40-cent rate. The original rate was 50 cents for 1,000 gallons. At the present time some of the consumers are paying the old rate and others the new.

Litigation between the Denver Union Water Company and Clarence H. Venner, a bond dealer of New York, which has been carried on during the last 20 years, terminated last week when John S. McMasters moved for the dismissal of the case before Judge Robert E. Lewis, of the United States District Court. The motion was granted. The action of McMasters followed a decision of a New Jersey court, handed down last month, in which he was ordered to dismiss the litigation, which resulted from the organization of the present company and its purchase at a foreclosure ‘sale of the properties of the old Denver Water Company. Venner was the original plaintiff in the suit.

Alleging that he needs city water, but has been denied it by the Omaha, Neb., water board until he puts up $5 in advance and his landlord, Harry A. Tukey, signs an agreement to guarantee the payment of the water bill above that amount, George F. Jones, a resident of Bedford addition to the city, has petitioned in district court that the court order the water board to turn on his water without the demanded deposit and landlord’s guarantee. The suit is to test the validity of the water board’s recent decision to exact payment in advance for water consumed, and also require landlords to stand good for future water bills above the amount deposited by the tenant. It is asserted in the petition that the water board has no authority under the statutes to lay down such rules, and is exceeding the authority vested in it to manage the municipal water plant. The interests of all tenants and landlords of houses served with the municipal water supply are affected by the suit.

John S. Dawson, attorney general, has filed the application for a writ of mandamus in the Kansas supreme court to compel the Leavenworth City & Fort Leavenworth Water Company to abide by the schedule of rates proposed by the new city ordinance. The purpose of the suit is to determine whether or not a franchise granted to a public utility years ago ever expires if it has no particular limitation in it. The Leavenworth city commission asserted that the water franchise expired years ago, while the company says the franchise automatically renews itself when the city fails to purchase. For several years there has been a big fight in the city to get the water rates reduced. Leavenworth now paying higher water rates than any other Kansas city. The city passed an ordinance requiring a reduction in rates, and it was to go into effect to-day. When the company made no movement to change to the new basis of rates, the attorney general was asked to bring the suit

WATER WORKS LITIGATION

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WATER WORKS LITIGATION

The injunctional order restraining Oshkosh, Wis, from taking possession of the water works, held by the water works board, has been withdrawn and the city now has possession of the system.

The supreme court on October 29 made it possible for Racine, Wis., to acquire its own water works, when it sustained the decision of the railroad commission. The commission has set $776,UOU as a tentative figure.

Mayor Monahan, of San Jose, Ca’.. has hied a complaint against the Sail Jose Water Company, which states that the corporation has been charging excessive rates consisting of a minimum of $1 per month, and a motor charge of 20 cents per thousand gallons.

i he courts ordered the St. Mary’s, Ohio, water commissioners to turn on the city water at the Standard Chain Company’s plant, which was idle for three days because the city shut off their water supply when the company refused to install their own meter. Employes and citizens paraded the streets and inarched to the plant to witness the turning on of the water.

The Hermosa W ater Company of Los Angeles, Cal., has been found guilty on a misdemeanor charge of turning off the water supply on the property owned by S. A. D. Clark, d he court held this in violation of the penal code, which prohibits the cutting off of water or gas by a company. I he company maintained that it did not have sufficient pressure to supply Clark.

Alleging that George 11. Goodlink and James II. Redman failed to complete their contract to erect a pumping station and construct a reservoir to furnish water to the city of Sullivan, Ind., the Sullivan County Water Company has brought suit against them and the American Bonding Company and the f idelity and Deposit Company, their bondsmen, on bond, and demands damages in the sum of $4,000 for their failure to complete the contracts.

ddie case of the city of Beaumont, Tex., against the Beaumont Water Works Company and the case of the Beaumont Water Works Company against the city of Beaumont, was to have been tried November 3. The city is siting for forfeiture ol franchise on the ground that the water company failed to furnish pure and wholesome water in that the water was polluted with salt and sewage. The water company seeks an injunction to restrain the city from disposing of sewage into the river.

The Riverton Water Company, of Lemoyne, 1’a., was last week made a defendant in a bill in equity filed at the Cumberland County Court at Carlisle, by citizens of Camp Hill, Pa. The company was enjoined from increasing water rates to meter consumers and from shutting off the water from such consumers. The water company attempted to put into effect July 1 to consumers who have the meter rate and use up to 5,000 cubic feet a rate of 30 cents per 100 cubic feet or a minimum of $10 per annum.

The city of Little Rock, Ark., has brought legal action in the Pulaski chancery court against the Arkansaw Water Company, requesting that unless certain stipulated conditions as to the water supply be complied with, a receiver be appointed to take charge of the plant, authorized to make additions, extensions and improvements. I he court has appointed Edward Flad, consulting engineer, of St. Louis, s-pecial master to investigate and report. The appointment of an engineer as master in a case of this kind is rather unusual, the general practice being to employ a lawyer who finds it necessary to educate himself in the technical questions which invariably arise in such a case.

In an effort to uncover some of the evidence which has not been brought out by the witnesses during the procedure of the suit of the city of Kalamazoo, Mich,, against the Standard Paper Company, relative to the water bill of $16,000. the matter may be taken up by the grand jury. The case is in the Supreme Court, with the Standard Paper Company’s strong defense being based on the estimate of amount of water consumed can not be properly made. Before the city discovered where the enormous waste of water was going, the consumption at the Standard Paper Company is said to have figured many thousands of gallons a day. This practice continued for nearly four years before it was discovered and the meters placed.