You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.


  • Giving list
    The following nonprofits responded to a Journal Gazette request for charity wish lists. We will have a list of additional charities in Sunday’s Journal Gazette. We also ran a list in Friday’s edition.
  • Pain clinics led by troubled doctor to close
    Indiana Pain Centers, which has operated clinics in nine northeast Indiana cities, formally announced in a legal ad published Friday that Dr. William Hedrick discontinued his practice at all locations effective Nov.
  • Shoppers seek deals

City Council again delays Aqua Indiana debate

The Fort Wayne City Council will again delay its debate over condemning Aqua Indiana's southwest water utility as the two sides try to hammer out a purchase deal.

City officials are expected to announce this morning that the council discussion, which had been set for Tuesday, would again be postponed.

"The two sides, Aqua and City Utilities, are asking for the council to hold up the proceedings," Council President Tom Didier, R-3rd, said Thursday evening. "It will give time for them to continue negotiations."

The council had been set to debate the issue Jan. 22. That evening's agenda called for a public hearing followed by discussion and a vote on whether the city should condemn the private utility that serves about 12,000 customers in southwest Fort Wayne. But just hours before that meeting, officials said negotiations were progressing and asked that it be delayed.

The council opened the public hearing and took testimony from citizens, but delayed the presentations by Aqua Indiana and City Utilities officials until Tuesday.

Now, officials say, negotiations continue to progress enough that they're asking for another delay.

The city acquired Aqua's north system for $16.9 million several years ago, but that purchase is still winding its way through the courts. A second decision from the Indiana Supreme Court on the issue is expected any time.

If the two sides can reach a deal outside of the condemnation process, it could save years of fighting and millions of dollars in legal fees.

Aqua officials have said they believe the southwest system is worth $60 million. City officials say it is worth a fraction of that.

City officials say southwest residents deserve the higher-quality water with better water pressure at lower prices that City Utilities can offer. Aqua officials say their water quality and supply issues are have been resolved and that a purchase would require rate hikes for all City Utilities customers.