City’s water lawsuit continues

By Michael Seffrin -

SIDNEY — A lawsuit filed against the city of Sidney in 2014 in connection with a water project was dismissed recently, but the issues involved will be considered in a newer suit filed by the city.

According to Shelby County Common Pleas Court records, the 2014 suit filed by Washington Township Trustees and Spring Creek Corp. was dismissed without prejudice on Jan. 12.

In June 2014, Washington Township Trustees, Spring Creek Corp. and Barrett Paving Materials (owner of Spring Creek) filed the suit claiming the city should compensate it for the land and mineral deposits on the property if the city obtains the property through eminent domain. Washington Township said in the suit that should the city establish wells in the area, the water remaining in the aquifer would not be sufficient to meet the needs of township residents. The township has an easement with Barrett for the aquifer. The city had earlier conducted informal negotiations with Barrett to purchase the property, according to the suit.

City Law Director Jeff Amick said Tuesday the 2014 suit was dismissed on account of “the economy of the court’s time” because the same issues will be considered in a suit the city filed last fall.

According to court records, on Oct. 28 the city filed a petition for appropriation of real property. The defendants in that case are Spring Creek Corp., Washington Township, the Miami Conservancy District and the Shelby County Treasurer. The most recent activity in that case is a telephone scheduling conference set for Jan. 28.

The city broke ground Oct. 14 for a pipeline that will provide Sidney with a new source of water. The 30-inch transmission line will extend from Sidney more than 7.5 miles to the well field near Lockington.

Last May, Sidney City Council authorized eminent domain proceedings for two parcels of land: 237.548 acres owned by Spring Creek Gravel Co. and 75.3 acres owned by Margaret A. Milligan, co-trustee of the Samual J. Milligan Trust.

The city awarded the contract to Howell Contractors to construct the transmission line for about $13.7 million. Peterson Construction was the low bidder for the well field work at about $7.5 million.

By Michael Seffrin

The writer may be contacted at 937-538-4823.

The writer may be contacted at 937-538-4823.