Senate Advances Martins Bill to Require Arbitration in Municipal Water Rate Disputes

Jack M. Martins

June 6, 2013

The Senate Local Government Committee moved legislation (S.5018) out of committee that is sponsored by Senator Jack Martins (R-C-I, Mineola) which will require municipalities to use arbitration when disputes over water rates occur between those municipalities.

The bill states that arbitration must be included in the contracts between two or more municipalities that share a common water supply when they cannot come to an agreement on the water rates one municipality is charging the other.

“Municipal water suppliers have a distinct advantage when contracting with a neighboring municipality that does not have its own supply of drinking water,” said Senator Martins.  “Arbitration would be an unbiased, independent, efficient and more effective way to resolve disputes in cases when municipalities can’t agree on the water rates one is charging the other.  Otherwise, too much time, effort and taxpayer money is spent litigating rather than working toward an agreement.”