Petition filed to dismiss rate increase

   A fight against a proposed rate increase at the Tri-Lakes Sewer District has gone to the next level.
   A petition was filed this week in Whitley Circuit Court which requested the court review the past proceedings involved with the rate increase and dismiss the sewer rate ordinance passed by the sewer district’s board in June.
   Included in the petition is also a request to dismiss the vote by the two-person sewer district authority board, which held a hearing in mid-August about the proposed rate increase.
   At the hearing, Whitley County Commissioner Don Amber and Noble County Commissioner Hal Stump failed to reach an agreement on how to vote on the issue.
   Amber said he wanted to vote for a rate increase less than the proposed $12.83 increase to the operating and maintenance portion of the bills as passed by the sewer district board.
   The current operating and maintenance portion of the bills is $12.31.
   Stump, however, said he wanted to vote to void the rate increase and support the petition against it.
   Because of a lack of a vote, the next step in the fight against the rate increase was this week’s petition filed with the court.
   In the petition, Josh Tourkow, the attorney representing those against the sewer rate, claims the sewer district did not give proper notification of the sewer district authority hearing Aug. 20.
   He also says those against the rate increase proved at the August hearing that the increase is “too large.”
   Finally, Tourkow says in the petition that the sewer district board’s decision was “arbitrary … and an abuse of (its) discretion.”
   Whitley Circuit Court Judge James Heuer granted the sewer district until Nov. 5 to show why he should not void the rate increase ordinance.