City OKs $100K for water battle

The North Bend City Council unanimously authorized the spending of more than $100,000 of taxpayers' money to fight an appeal against the end of the city's water moratorium.

The decision to spend money to battle the appeal came after out-of-court settlement negotiations stalled with the appellant, Valley property owner Ewing Stringfellow.

"We hope we never reach any numbers that are shown in here, but they need to have the authorization" to spend up to $105,000 to defend against the appeal, City Administrator Duncan Wilson said at the Feb. 19 city council meeting.

The city is scheduled for a June hearing against Ewing Stringfellow, who owns a Christmas tree farm and cattle ranch outside North Bend. Stringfellow filed a claim against North Bend's attempts to secure a new water source that would allow the city to end its building moratorium, which has halted the city's growth for nearly a decade.

Stringfellow did not return calls from the Valley Record by press time.

The money would go toward attorneys, state-hired experts and Department of Ecology staff as the city prosecutes the defense of the appeal.

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