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