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July 13, 2024

Two-Count Complaint filed challenging Carlinville’s authority to form and operate private company

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On February 27, 2018


A lawsuit has been filed in Macoupin County Circuit Court challenging the authority of the City of Carlinville and Village of Dorchester to form a private water company with Jersey County Rural Water Company for the purpose of developing a private regional water supply to a four-county area.

This lawsuit, filed by Carlinville residents Camille and Wayne Brotze, challenges the authority of Carlinville and the other participating entities to form and participating in the operations of a private water company for the purpose of developing a regional water supply in order to sell its water to the participating entities, including Carlinville.

Count 1 asks the Court:

  • declare rights of the parties
  • declaration that Carlinville and Dorchester lack requisite authority to incorporate, fund, or operate Illinois Alluvial Regional Water Company and that any appropriations made by the municipalities declared void from the beginning
  • declaration that IARWC must reimburse Carlinville and Dorchester for any such wrongfully appropriated funds
  • declare that Carlinville and Dorchester cannot continue participating in IARWC

Count 2 asks the Court:

  • a Temporary Restraining Order stopping Carlinville and Dorchester from appropriating any more funds to IARWC, and from any representative of the two municipalities from taking any actions which would subject them to any liability or obligation regarding IARWC during the litigation
  • a Permanent Injunction Order against the municipalities from participating in the funding and operation of IARWC

This appears to be a legal attack on a municipality’s authority to fund and operate a private company, the interpretation of Article VII Section 10 of the Illinois Constitution, and the interpretation of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act.

Last fall, the Fosterburg Water District pulled its support from the IARWC concept citing lack of statutory authority, and we have previously written about this issue and our belief that Carlinville lacked authority to participate in this manner.

Also last fall, these entities voted to form the Illinois Alluvial Regional Water Company (“IARWC”), a private corporation. Each municipality pledged public funds for this purpose, with Carlinville pledging $30,000 initially. Prior to this, Carlinville obtained a federal grant for the purpose of establishing a Regional Water Commission (a public body) – however, IARWC is not a “commission” but rather a private company.

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