Group threatens to sue city over sewer plant funding

An attorney hired by a group calling itself the Bainbridge Ratepayers Alliance sent a letter to the city today warning of “appropriate legal recourse” if the city approves bonds for a new Winslow sewer treatment plant.

The $15.5 million plant is drawing most of its funding from bonds and a trust fund loan covered by Winslow utility ratepayers.

Attorney Richard Stephens charges that the city failed to fully disclose its “dire financial situation.” Poor financial footing, according to Stephens, could dampen the city’s reputation, leading to higher interest rates, more stringent loan conditions and higher bills for ratepayers.

Stephens also asserts bond funding for the plant would violate city rules restricting capital facilities financing and that ratepayers were denied proper due process in the plant’s planning.

The letter was sent to the city hours before the City Council was scheduled to vote on approving the bond.

The council is slated to vote on the bond at 8 p.m. tonight.