Broussard has declined to drop its lawsuits against Lafayette, a move that could prompt city-parish government to stop providing water to the smaller city.
Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel sent a letter to Broussard Mayor Charles Langlinais last week setting a 10-day deadline for Lafayette's smaller neighbor to drop lawsuits over a contested annexation and a dispute over a wholesale water contract.
Durel said that if the lawsuits were not dropped, Lafayette Utilities System would stop selling wholesale water to Broussard within one year.
That would leave the smaller city with few options other than to drill new wells or find some other source of water to serve the customers that are now using water from LUS.
The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/M6i8TK ) Langlinais responded Tuesday with a letter stating he has no plans to drop the litigation. He did say that Broussard officials would be open to out-of-court mediation or binding arbitration talks that are overseen by a retired judge.
Durel said Tuesday he could not comment on Langlinais' response because Durel had not seen the letter, which The Advocate requested from Broussard.
The dispute between Lafayette and Broussard heated up last year after LUS officials discovered a bypassed wholesale water meter that allowed Broussard to receive millions of gallons for free.
LUS officials say other wholesale meters have also been tampered with.
Broussard has its own water system, but that system does not produce enough water to serve the city, so Broussard buys some of its water wholesale from LUS and then sells the water to its residents and businesses.
Broussard officials have maintained that they do not know how the meter was bypassed, but they paid a disputed $825,587 bill to LUS under protest.
Broussard then filed a lawsuit to force Lafayette to refund what Langlinais said in his letter Tuesday is an overpayment of more than $600,000 for "erroneously delivered" water.
Durel had demanded that Broussard dismiss that lawsuit, along with an earlier lawsuit filed to contest Lafayette's annexation of about 220 acres in southern Lafayette Parish.