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Shady Hollow rate fight continues

Monday, November 14, 2016 by Jo Clifton

With City Council members Don Zimmerman and Ellen Troxclair opposed, the Austin City Council on Thursday approved a $700,000 legal services contract with the law firm of Lloyd Gosselink Rochelle and Townsend, P.C. to argue with the Shady Hollow Municipal Utility District over the wholesale water and wastewater rates the city is charging the MUD. Shady Hollow has asked the Texas Public Utility Commission to find in its favor and to reduce or completely eliminate the rate increase for wholesale water and wastewater adopted by the city in 2013. Attorney Bill Aleshire lives in Shady Hollow but does not represent either of the parties. He told the Austin Monitor via email, “Only the Austin City Council would spend $700,000 on legal fees to argue about a $1 million overcharge.” He also said that the rate case represents “just the beginning of fights Austin will have with Shady Hollow,” because the city plans to annex the MUD. There were no comments from the dais when the motion passed on consent last week, but it appears that this could be a high-profile case.

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