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The Failed Indiana American Water Company Takeover

On August 7th, 2012 the Mooresville Town Council held a public hearing regarding the consideration of an ordinance establishing a municipally owned water company. Three days later on Friday August 10th at 3:30 in the afternoon that ordinance was approved at a special meeting. Later that same year the town council voted to authorize eminent domain against IAWC at another special meeting, this time at 9:00 am on Christmas Eve. The attempted takeover lasted more than two years. It played out in the press and more than a dozen Town Council meetings. Below is the timeline of events with links to supporting documentation for your review.

The Mooresville Town Council members in 2012-2014:
Mark Mathis, Virginia Perry, Jeff Cook, Tony Langley, and George Watkins


    2012

  • 2012-08-07 - The Mooresville Town Council holds a public hearing to consider Ordinance 12-2012 establishing a munipally owned public utility. Speaking at the hearing was Randy Haymaker, David Burns, Allen DeBoy, Troy Bryant, and Nick Kile. Nancy Caldwell asked to speak after the representativs from IAWC gave their presntation, but that request was denied. Following the public hearing Councilman Langley gave a presentation. More detailed information is available in the minutes.

  • 2012-08-08 - The Reporter-Times publishes coverage of the hearing titled: Mooresville officials want to take over water system

  • 2012-08-10 - The Town Council held a special meeting at 3:00 in the afternoon. Virginia Perry makes a motion, seconded by Jeff Cook to approve Resolution 04-2012 to acquire the water company. Motion passed 5-0. Councilwoman Virginia Perry made a motion to consider Ordinance 12-2012, requiring the Town of Mooresville to expand it's muninicipally owned ultily, at the same meeting in which it was introduced. That was seconded by Councilman Mark Mathis and approved 5-0. Virginia Perry then made a motion to approve Ordinance 12-2012. Motion was seconded by Councilman Jeff Cook and passed 5-0. Several other motions were made at this meeting to engage the services of attorneys, appraisers, and laisons. Read the full meeting minutes for more details.

  • 2012-08-11 - The Reporter-Times publishes coverage of the meeting titled: Town votes to start water takeover process

  • 2012-08-11 - The Reporter-Times publishes a press release response from IAWC: IAWC officials answer council’s water takeover plans

  • 2012-08-15 - The Mooresville-Decatur Times publishes an editorial titled: Water takeover a slippery slope

  • 2012-08-21 - The Town Council approves a press release in response to the Mooresville-Times editorial

  • 2012-09-19 - The Reporter-Times publishes an interview with Councilman George Watkins and Councilman Tony Langly Water purchase just beginning

  • 2012-09-22 - The Reporter-Times coverage of IAWC public meeting: IAWC pleads its case

  • 2012-10-02 - Council President George Watkings informed the council that tax money could not be used to purchase the water company and that bonding would be used. (minutes)

  • 2012-10-06 - The Reporter-Times reports that Indiana American Water sues Town of Mooresville alleging several violations of law — including the company’s due process rights and the open door law.

  • 2012-10-10 - The Reporter-Times published a letter from IAWC President Alan DeBoy: IAWC asks what council’s real motivation is in takeover

  • 2012-10-17 - The Reporter-Times published a follow up interview with town attorney Christopher Janak: Attorney: IAWC allegations aren’t true

  • 2012-10-20 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Town moves lawsuit from local court

  • 2012-10-21 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Mooresville’s IAWC hosts property, office tour

  • 2012-10-27 - The Reporter-Times coverage: IAWC files surcharge request

  • 2012-11-19 - The Mooresville Town Council held an Executive Session for the purpose of discussion of strategy with respect to the Initiation of litigation or litigation that is either pending or has been threatened specifically in writing (IC 5-14.1-5-6.1(b))

  • 2012-11-20 - A motion was made by Councilwoman Virginia Perry with a second by Councilman Mark Mathis to approve Council President George Watkins as signatory for correspondence to Indiana American Water Co. Motion carried 5-0.
    ** It is later reported that the Town Council approved an offer of $6.5 Million to purchase IAWC, but that is not reflected anywhere in the minutes for this meeting. (view minutes here)

  • 2012-11-24 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Town Council buys IAWC utility

  • 2012-12-12 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Town’s water system offer far below its value

  • 2012-12-18 - Legal: A motion was made by Councilman Mark Mathis with a second by Councilman Jeff Cook to approve a waiver of potential conflict and appoint President George Watkins as signatory due to the fact Bose, McKinney represented a bank that Indiana American Water does business with. Motion carried 5- 0. (view minutes here)

  • 2012-12-24 - A Special Meeting of the Mooresville Town Council was held at 9:00 am on Monday December 24th (Christmas Eve).
    During that meeting Councilman Mark Mathis made a motion to suspend the rules and approve Ordinace 16-2012 at the same meeting it was introduced. That motion was seconded by Councilwoman Virginia Perry and passed 5-0.
    Councilman Mark Mathis also made the motion to approve Ordinace 16-2012, requiring the Town of Mooresville to acquire and/or condemn the Water Company. That motion was seconded by Councilman Jeff Cook and passed 5-0. (view minutes here)

  • 2012-12-24 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Town takes next step in water system takeover

  • 2012-12-29 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Town sues to take water utility

  • 2013

  • 2013-01-26 - The Reporter-Times coverage: IAWC requests judgment, new judge

  • 2013-02-13 - The Reporter-Times Letter to the Editor: Town council’s action threatens my hometown

  • 2013-02-16 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Businesses have mixed reactions to water rates

  • 2013-02-19 - The Mooresville Town Council held an Executive Session for discussion of purchase or lease of real property by the governing body up to the time a contract or option to purchase or lease is executed by the parties. IC5- 14- 1. 5-6. 1(b) and the purpose of discussion of strategy with respect to the Initiation of litigation or litigation that is either pending or has been threatened specifically in writing (IC 5-14.1-5-6.1(b))
    Scott Miller and John Seiver from Umbaugh give an update of the water utility if Town of Mooresville takes over the water company using the current rate structure.
    Councilwoman Virginia Perry made a motion to approve a press release. It was seconded by Councilman Jeff Cook and passed 4-0. (view minutes here)

  • 2013-02-23 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Umbaugh presents information about water company purchase

  • 2013-02-23 - The Reporter-Times coverage: IAWC calls for public to take action

  • 2013-02-27 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Utility transparency bill dies before hearing

  • 2013-03-06 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Former street/water superintendent worries about water quality

  • 2013-03-09 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Hendricks judge to hear water case

  • 2013-03-19 - Councilman Tony Langley stated there were some revisions to the questions and answers related to information to the Town's interest in the water system. A motion was made by Councilman Jeff Cook to approve the revisions and a second was made by Councilman Mark Mathis. Motion passed 5-0 [meeting minutes]

  • 2013-05-09 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Main break causing discolored water

  • 2013-06-05 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Judge grants stay in town’s water case

  • 2013-06-06 - The Mooresville Town Council held an Executive Session for discussion of purchase or lease of real property by the governing body up to the time a contract or option to purchase or lease is executed by the parties. IC5- 14- 1. 5-6. 1(b) and the purpose of discussion of strategy with respect to the Initiation of litigation or litigation that is either pending or has been threatened specifically in writing (IC 5-14.1-5-6.1(b)) (view minutes here)

  • 2013-07-02 - Councilman Tony Langley made a motion that, consistent with the Federal Court's May 3, 2013 Order, the Town Council should adopt a motion tonight authorizing Tony Langley, George Watkins, Virginia Perry, Jeff Cook, Mark Mathis or any combnation of at least three individuals to attend the settlement conference as representatives of the town. These individuals shall have complete authority, subject to final approval as required by Indiana's Open Door Law. Councilwoman Virginia Perry seconded the motion. Motion was approved 4-0. [meeting minutes]

  • 2013-07-06 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Mooresville Council to update matrix

  • 2013-07-11 - The Mooresville Town Council held an Executive Session for the purpose of discussion of strategy with respect to the Initiation of litigation or litigation that is either pending or has been threatened specifically in writing (IC 5-14.1-5-6.1(b))

  • 2013-08-10 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Town council waiting on judges’ decision

  • 2013-09-03 - The Mooresville Town Council held an Executive Session for discussion of purchase or lease of real property by the governing body up to the time a contract or option to purchase or lease is executed by the parties. IC5- 14- 1. 5-6. 1(b) and the purpose of discussion of strategy with respect to the Initiation of litigation or litigation that is either pending or has been threatened specifically in writing (IC 5-14.1-5-6.1(b))

  • 2013-10-02 - The Reporter-Times coverage: IAWC suit against Mooresville moved back to county

  • 2013-10-05 - The Reporter-Times coverage: IAWC files for new charge

  • 2013-10-26 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Mooresville water purchase value set for trial

  • 2013-11-19 - The Mooresville Town Council held an Executive Session for the purpose of discussion of strategy with respect to the Initiation of litigation or litigation that is either pending or has been threatened specifically in writing (IC 5-14.1-5-6.1(b))

  • 2014

  • 2014-01-21 - The Mooresville Town Council held an Executive Session for the purpose of discussion of strategy with respect to the Initiation of litigation or litigation that is either pending or has been threatened specifically in writing (IC 5-14.1-5-6.1(b))

  • 2014-01-29 - The Reporter-Times coverage: IAWC files for rate change

  • 2014-02-15 - The Reporter-Times coverage: OUCC needs comments on IAWC rate request

  • 2014-02-18 - The Mooresville Town Council held an Executive Session for the purpose of discussion of strategy with respect to the Initiation of litigation or litigation that is either pending or has been threatened specifically in writing (IC 5-14.1-5-6.1(b))
    Legal: Attorney Currens reported a price needed to be given for Indiana American Water Company Purchase for the Court. A motion was made by Councilman Tony Langley with a second from Councilman George Watkins to offer $7,300,000; an appraisal received from American Appraisals for purchase of the water company. Motion was approved 5-0. [meeting minutes]

  • 2014-02-22 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Council increases offer to IAWC

  • 2014-03-18 - Legal: Motion was made by Councilman George Watkins with a second by Councilman Tony Langley to approve a contract with American Appraisals. Motion was approved 5-0.
    Letter and Waiver and consent from Bose McKinney for Beam Longest Neff who may be a witness for Indiana American Water; Attorney Currens has checked this out and talked with some of the attorneys up there and doesn't feel like this would hurt or bias the Town. He recommends the waiver be approved and signatory named. A motion was made by Councilman George Watkins with a second by Councilman Tony Langley to approve the waiver and consent and have Council President as Signatory. Motion was approved 5-0.[meeting minutes]

  • 2014-04-09 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Court-appointed appraisers set $14.5 million value for IAWC

  • 2014-04-26 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Mooresville increases offer to purchase water company

  • 2014-05-08 - The Reporter-Times coverage: State regulators recommend rate cuts for water company

  • 2014-05-20 - Legal: Tim Currens reported to the council Chris Janak asked for help with the presenttion of information during the trial[meeting minutes]

  • 2014-05-31 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Water case to be heard next week

  • 2014-06-05 - The Reporter-Times coverage: IAWC rests its water case

  • 2014-06-07 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Jury sets water system value at $20.3 million

  • 2014-06-25 - The Mooresville Town Council held an Executive Session for the purpose of discussion of strategy with respect to the Initiation of litigation or litigation that is either pending or has been threatened specifically in writing (IC 5-14.1-5-6.1(b))

  • 2014-06-29 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Water case legal bills grow

  • 2014-07-01 - Legal: Discussion of Indiana American Water Case: Attorney Currens announced there was a hearing scheduled in mid-July on sanctions.
    Councilman Geaorge Watkins made a motion to instruct attorneys to begin the appeal on technical deficiencies and remanded back back to court for retrial. No second was forth coming so the motion died. [meeting minutes]

  • 2014-08-13 - The Mooresville Town Council held an Executive Session for the purpose of discussion of strategy with respect to the Initiation of litigation or litigation that is either pending or has been threatened specifically in writing (IC 5-14.1-5-6.1(b))

  • 2014-08-18 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Judge awards town $3,817 for IAWC sanctions

  • 2014-10-21 - Other Business: Councilman Tony Langley reported the Town had a year to move forward to purchase the water comany for $23 Million. The lawsuit has been dropped nd Indiana American has now said the Town would be in the lower tier until investments are made in the Town. A motion was made by Councilman Tony Langley with a second by Councilwoman Virginia Perry to not acquire the water company. Motion passed 5-0. [meeting minutes]

  • 2014-10-23 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Mooresville Council won't pursue water purchase

  • 2014-11-21 - The Reporter-Times coverage: Water company reaches agreement

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