Rural water district suit claims Johnston, Iowa encroachment

BOUTON, Iowa-  Xenia Rural Water District is suing the city of Johnston, claiming the Des Moines suburb violated federal law.    

Xenia claims Johnston's plan to annex 550-acres of land with the district's  water service territory, is against a Federal statute that encourages rural development and protects rural water districts from encroachment by neighboring cities.   Xenia says it has invested significant money and infrastructure in the area in question and that Xenia has the capacity and capability to provide water service to all existing and future water consumers in the area.

Johnston announced in September an intention to provide water service inside Xenia's service area, and announced plans to extend city services were underway.

Xenia says Johnston is encroaching and the city's plans will deprive Xenia of its legal right to provide water service and result in the loss of existing and future customers.   Xenia also says encroachment by Johnston would result in an increase in water rates for Xenia customers.

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