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Food & Water Watch does an excellent job of keeping tabs on the food safety issues I care about. It would be a full-time job to stay updated myself. Their petitions are simple, to the point, and easy to share.
Marianne Scrivner
November 4th, 2009

Ft. Wayne, IN

When residents in the northern part of Fort Wayne became fed up with the consistently poor water service of their private provider, the Indiana arm of Aqua America, they turned to the city for a solution.

For some time, these residents had been plagued by discolored water and poor service. To address the problem, community members and local leaders decided to transfer the system and its 9,000 customers from Aqua Indiana to the city of Fort Wayne.

In 2002, Fort Wayne began pursuing an eminent domain action in order to purchase the water and sewer system. Neighborhoods voiced overwhelming support for the acquisition and circulated petitions endorsing the purchase.

“These neighborhoods have been asking for better water at a lower cost,” said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry in January. “Several neighborhoods petitioned for City water. Fort Wayne’s water system has the capacity to easily serve them.”

Despite legal challenges by Aqua Indiana, in July 2007 the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that the city could proceed with its purchase. By 2008, Aqua Indiana finally turned the system over to the city, which intended to provide better service at a lower price.

Meanwhile, Aqua Indiana continues to contest the value of the system. In September 2012, the company’s suit reached the state supreme court. In April 2013, the state supreme court ruled in favor of the company requiring a jury to set the purchase price. The city awaits that jury trial. 

Because of uncertainty over the price of that system, the city delayed purchasing the company’s other water system, which serves residents in the southwestern part of the city. These remaining Aqua customers continued to clamor for public service.

In mid-November 2012, Mayor Henry acted on those concerns and proposed a public purchase of the company’s remaining southwestern water system. Henry explained, “This is about public health and public safety.” 

In July 2013, the city announced that it had reached a tentative agreement with Aqua to purchase the remaining water system. The deal is pending. 

 

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One Comment on Ft. Wayne, IN

  1. Jenn says:

    In the meantime Southwest Fort Wayne residents still have Aqua Indiana hard water and our rates have doubled. My family pays $80 a month for water and sewage. So I’m not happy that the city is serving the new communities north of town while sending the established older neighborhoods the bill.