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Water-line easements approved by NACS

Northwest Allen County Schools board members granted water-line easements Mon­day night to Fort Wayne City Utilities in an area where the city and Huntertown are warring over utility rights.

The school board approved easements along the north side of Cedar Canyon Elementary School, 15011 Coldwater Road, to City Utilities, which plans to install water lines on the west side of the school, Northwest Allen business manager Bill Mallers said Wednesday.

The lines will supply utilities to two new housing subdivisions south of Gump Road – Timber Ridge and Whispering Rock.

Huntertown Councilman Jim Fortman said Wednesday he was aware of Northwest Allen’s decision.

He said Huntertown has challenged City Utilities’ right to install the infrastructure in an Allen County court.

Attorneys representing the developers of the subdivisions had opposed Huntertown’s annexation of the area in May.

Josh Neal of the Barrett & McNagny law firm said developers Mike and Jeff Thomas and Roger Delagrange had already signed an agreement with Fort Wayne City Utilities for water and sewer services prior to Huntertown’s annexation announcement.

The developers have contended that Huntertown does not have the capacity, access or infrastructure to supply utilities to the subdivisions.

Northwest Allen officials have also voiced concern over the annexation with Mallers and Superintendent Chris Himsel, pointing out that the annexation would result in the district losing about $60,000 a year in tax revenue.

The town is constructing a new $1.8 million drinking water filtration plant on 11 acres along Carroll Road near Lima Road, part of a $4.5 million project to improve the capacity and pressure of the town’s water system.

The new plant is expected to be operational by the end of this year or by early next year.

The town’s sewage is currently treated by City Utilities, although the town is hopeful that it will soon be granted permission by the state to build its own wastewater treatment plant.

Thomas’ project, Whispering Rock, would include 197 homes in the $500,000 to $600,000 range, and Delagrange’s project, Timber Ridge, would include 119 homes in the $300,000 to $400,000 range.

Both subdivisions are under construction.

Huntertown Town Council members approved the 530-acre annexation in late June, and the town has a year to provide fire and police protection and street maintenance and three years before it must make other improvements such as road construction, water and sewer services and streetlights.