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Dates set in Aqua Indiana takeover deal

Residents in southwest Fort Wayne wondering when City Utilities will take over Aqua Indiana’s southwest water system now have actual dates to look forward to.

On Tuesday, ordinances authorizing the purchase and the loan to pay for it will be introduced to the City Council. While the introduction is largely a formality, it starts the official wheels turning. A public hearing and debate on the issue is set for May 6 and final approval could by the council May 13.

The agreement also needs approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission; Aqua America’s Board of Directors has already approved the agreement.

The transition to city water will take place in three phases beginning in October or November and will take about five months to complete.

Officials announced in July they had signed a letter of intent for the city to purchase Aqua’s southwest water utility and settle the ongoing lawsuit over the price the city must pay for its 2007 purchase of the private utility’s north system.

The city will pay Aqua $50.1 million in addition to the $16.9million the city paid Aqua for the north system. The $67million will cover the cost of all of Aqua’s drinking water facilities in Allen County.

One of the ordinances to be introduced Tuesday calls for borrowing $63 million to pay for the purchase.

For more on this story see Friday’s print edition of The Journal Gazette or return to after 3 a.m. Friday.