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Lawyers for Evanston charged that Skokie’s federal court suit challenging a water rate increase is without merit and was filed “to generate headlines” as they sought Tuesday to have the suit dismissed.

Skokie had claimed, in filing the suit, that Evanston deprived the village and its residents of due process and equal protection rights by imposing the rate increase.after talks with the village about a new water supply contract broke down.

The dismissal motion, filed by Derke Price of Ancel Glink, the city’s outside counsel for the case, argues that the dispute between the two municipalities is governed by a state statute that sets rate limits and dictates that an action be filed in state court to resolve disputes.

Evanston filed such a suit against the village in state court last September, nearly nine months before Skokie filed its federal court complaint.

The city’s motion says Skokie’s suit fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, because the state has held that “there is no ‘fundamental right’ involved in the sale of Lake Michigan water by one municipality to another.”

It also argues that the individual Skokie residents named as plaintiffs in the village’s suit have no direct relationship to the city and therefore it has not caused them any damages and that the village is not a “person” protected by the 14th Amendment.

Meanwhile, the Evanston City Council Monday night approved a water sales agreement with a new customer, the Village of Lincolnwood. Lincolnwood officials had approved the deal last month.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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