BV Supervisors Discuss Water Works Lawsuit

Two Buena Vista County Supervisors recently attended a meeting with representatives of the Des Moines Water Works… who is threatening to sue Buena Vista, Sac, and Calhoun Counties.

The Des Moines water utility claims the Buena Vista, Sac, and Calhoun County Boards of Supervisors aren’t properly managing drainage districts, resulting in excess nitrates in the Raccoon River, a source of drinking water for Des Moines.

Supervisors Paul Merten and Dale Arends… along with Sac and Calhoun County representatives … met with the director of the Water Works and their legal counsel. Merten says it was a very cordial meeting… and they explained what is in the Iowa code concerning drainage districts, and the Supervisors feel they’re doing their job.

Supervisor chair Dale Arends said the threatened lawsuit against only three counties is a “bullying tactic” and nothing has been said concerning the Des Moines River, which Des Moines also uses for drinking water. He says drainage districts have a blanket exemption from requirements of the Waters of the U.S. legislation.

Arends says the Water Works can’t file a lawsuit until at least March second… and they may not sue, or could wait months. He says if a suit is filed, it will be in federal court. Merten says representatives of the three counties will meet again next Tuesday.