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Request for stay filed against Shipshewana sewer project


Even as the LaGrange County Regional Utility District was receiving the proposed construction schedule for the Shipshewana West sewer project last week, efforts were continuing to halt the project as property owners Robert and Dianne Fiedler filed a petition for a stay on the project.

The petition was filed in LaGrange County Superior Court Thursday afternoon, seeking a stay on the construction. The Fiedlers argue in their filing that the district did not obtain a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers prior to commencing construction in the wetlands area adjacent to the lake. “Mr. and Mrs. Fiedler contend that their property rights and values will be endangered if the Respondent Sewer District is allowed to construct this sewer project without having obtained the required permits,” the filing reads.

The filing notes that “on several occasions, the Army Corps of Engineers has informed the Sewer District that the Army Corps of Engineers has jurisdiction over the project due to the geographical location and has instructed the Sewer District to apply for a permit if construction is to be initiated on the project.” The Fiedlers note in their filing that the Army Corps of Engineers, responding to their request, has stated that there is no record of the district applying for a permit from them.

According to LaGrange County Superior Court staff, no action had been scheduled on the filing as of press time Monday.

 In the construction schedule released at the district’s board meeting last Wednesday, the contractor, Niblock Construction, noted that it plans to begin drilling the pipes the first week of May. Currently, crews are doing utility and septic system locating in the project area. The contractor indicated the project could be finished as early as late September.