Lincoln City leaders have received another batch of warnings from Roads End residents that shutting off their water supply will lead to a court battle.
Members of the Roads End Water District appeared at Lincoln City Council’s March 12 meeting to deliver 37 new tort claim notices from Roads End property owners, all of whom have threatened to sue the City for damages if the City follows through on a threat to shut off their water.
The notices add to an initial batch of 25 delivered by REWD members in January.
The notices are in response to letters that the City began mailing to property owners at the end of November 2011, giving them 60 days to consent to annexation or run the risk of having their water service shut off.
The demand letters are part of a City policy adopted in 2010, aimed at gathering enough annexation consents to annex the Roads End area by a simple Council vote.
For the several recipients, the 60-day period is up — meaning that any who did not sign the consent are now viewed as “delinquent” under the City’s recently revised utility billing procedures.
City Manager David Hawker said he does not know how many property owners have declined to return a consent form because he has not asked.
He said his focus has been on preparing for recent workshops and the upcoming budget process as well as processing these consent forms that have been returned.
But Hawker stressed that the City does plan to take action on delinquent accounts.
“It will happen at some point,” he said, “Unless we just declare it done because we’ve gotten an overwhelming triple majority.”
Hawker said Roads Enders should not read the City’s lack of action on water shut offs as a sign that it is bluffing.
“The City has not announced when it’s going to start shutting off water,” he said. “It’s in my hands at this point. If they want to play poker with me, I’m willing to play.”