ALPENA — Alpena and Alpena Township today issued a joint letter informing residents that they are in negotiations to form a water authority to oversee water and sewer services to both communities.
The two have been fighting for years in court over water and sewer rates the city charges the township.
The statement says there are many differences in the two systems and operations which makes the process complex. No details on how the authority would be structured, who would manage it, or how the more than $2 million in an escrow account established from a court order will be divided.
Both sides have refused to answer follow-up questions.
“My thoughts about the process are in the letter,” Alpena Mayor Matt Waligora said.
Alpena Township Supervisor Nathan Skibbe did not return a message seeking comment.
A copy of the letter is below:
“To the residents of the City of Alpena and Charter Township of Alpena,
As leaders of the community, we understand that a long-term solution to our water and sewer differences is in everyone’s best interest.
Therefore, pursuant to mediation rules in effect regarding legal matters, we have engaged in continued dialog in an attempt to resolve our issues.
We have researched and reached out to communities with systems similar to ours and are currently discussing the formation of a water and sewer authority.
Please understand there are differences with our system and its operation, making the process more complex and difficult to navigate than a one size fits all approach would entail.
We are working together in hopes that we can end our litigation and provide the service that you all deserve.
Moving forward, our intent is to keep you informed on our progress as we strive for the best interests of the greater Alpena community, and truly appreciate your patience.
We wish you Safe and Happy Holidays”
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