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Contract Dispute Could Leave Town Of Vian Without Water

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VIAN, Oklahoma -

Residents in the Sequoyah County town of Vian are preparing to be without water because of a dispute over a rate hike.

If they can't come to an agreement with their water supplier, their water will be shut off for the entire town on Friday.

Residents are buying cases of water, just in case the water is actually shut off and attorneys are working to sort out all the legal details of a contract.

This week, Vian residents got a letter saying water meters could be disconnected because of a contract dispute between town's Public Works Authority and the Sequoyah County Water Association. 

The water association recently raised rates to make some upgrades.

"I know there's changes in chemicals and things like that that's fluctuating cost but to raise the rates 40 percent, is just outrageous," Vian resident Steve Gilley said.

The City of Vian say they're not going to pay, citing a 2009 contract locking in specified rates, that was supposed to expand through 2059.

The Sequoyah County Water Association argues that contract is worded to include raises in rates.

If the attorneys on both sides don't come to an agreement, the water association will cut off water to the town on Friday. 

Vian's city attorney said he plans to file an injunction to stop the association from shutting off the water.

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