Pence signs bill some believe will settle Newburgh, Chandler dis - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Pence signs bill some believe will settle Newburgh, Chandler dispute

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Indiana Governor Mike Pence is set to sign a bill that some believe would settle the ongoing sewer dispute between Newburgh and Chandler.

But now there's another dispute over what the legislation would actually do.

Newburgh's attorney says it's clear House Bill 1187 gives Newburgh exclusive authority to the disputed sewer region except for Chandler's existing customers.

But Chandler's town president believes just the opposite.

The bill authored by Chandler's State Representative, Ron Bacon, lays out guidelines for when two municipalities like Newburgh and Chandler have utility disputes.

In part, it gives the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission oversight to resolve sewer disputes that "arise," according to an IURC spokesperson. 

At issue is Section 10. It states a dispute will be resolved by the IURC unless the case was filed in court before January 1, 2014. 

Newburgh attorney Chris Wischer says the Newburgh and Chandler dispute is exempt because of a prior ruling by the Indiana Court of Appeals. Chandler Town President Brian Lucas disagrees.

"We are hoping that there will be something in the bill that will give us some relief on this situation. Until the Governor signs it, we're really just speculating, but we're hopefully optimistic," Lucas says.

"They're clearly misinterpreting the bill to the extent that they believe that it provides them any right to expand into the area outside the existing customers they already have," Wischer tells 14 News.

Governor Pence has until Thursday to sign the bill. After that, we may get a better idea of exactly what this means for Newburgh and Chandler.

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