City Defers Action on Water Rate Battle

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CITY HALL - A computer glitch on water rates has set off a potential legal battle between City Hall and Rural Water District One. Topeka City Council members talked over the gap in rate collections at their meeting last night. The issue began in 2005 when a switch to a new computer program failed to include the district's water rate increase.

The district has made a top offer of $50,000 to settle the matter. The city believes it's owed much more than that. But council members agree they don't to pay outside lawyers or force an expensive lawsuit to win or lose the case.

The council voted 6-0 to wait another week. That would allow them to get legal advice from City Attorney Jackie Williams, and get back in touch with Don Rankin and water district administrators. Bill Haynes is also suggesting the water rate gap could be settled by a mediator.