Longstanding litigation over the Southern Regional Interceptor sewer bond appears to be settled.  The litigants are Columbia Township, Leoni Township, and Jackson County.  Liberty and Hanover settled earlier.

The argument has been over bond payments due because of the construction.  What’s ironic is the small number of Columbia Township customers hooked up to this part of the sewer system—only seven.  Nonetheless Columbia Township has been on the hook for an outsized share.  Because of the large number, well over one-million dollars, Columbia waited to the last minute to agree.  Columbia settled for about $550,000.  When parties go to trial, there is always a chance that the outcome will be detrimental even if you think you’re in the right.  That could be part of thinking for accepting the settlement.

What does this mean to Clark Lake residents?  There could be a temporary hike in sewer costs.  One estimate is $9.30 per quarter.  Jackson County pledged full faith for the bond issue, and they have been paying it during this period of disagreement.  It’s expected the Jackson County Board of Commissioners will also accept this outcome.

The Columbia Township board met in closed session for over two hours last Friday.  The settlement was placed on the record today before Judge LaFlamme.  In commenting, one person familiar with the issues said he believed the Township board did what’s best to bring about the most favorable outcome for Township residents.

This litigation has loomed like a nasty storm cloud for a lengthy period.  The skies appear to be clearing somewhat. Columbia Township John Calhoun remarks “so many people have passed on since this litigation started, I’m just fortunate that I’m not one of them.”

More details as they become available.