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Business groups bless Mayor Ballard's utility sale plan

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Mayor Greg Ballard has picked up endorsements from two key business groups for his proposal to sell the city’s water and sewer utilities to Citizens Energy Group.

The $1.9 billion deal will bring “increased efficiencies, synergies and enhanced professionalism,” said Roland Dorson, president of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber also likes the deal because it considers it a way to achieve long-needed infrastructure improvements.

Also giving a thumbs-up was the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis, which has 620 members representing more than 240 builders. CEO Steve Lains cited benefits to homeowners “while enhancing economic development and job creation.”

Democrats on the City-County Council have denounced Ballard’s sale proposal for removing the vital utilities from city oversight.

Ballard’s administrators, who point to political patronage and questionable oversight of the utilities, are eyeing $450 million in cash from the deal to pay for city infrastructure improvements.

Ballard needs approval of the council and Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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