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Citizens seeks rate increases to fund $560M in upgrades

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Citizens Energy Group customers face double-digit-percentage rate increases for water and sewer service under a request filed Thursday with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.

Monthly rates for the average residential customer would rise 10 percent, from $31 to $34.

Harder hit would be monthly wastewater bills, which would eventually rise 47 percent,  from $30 to $44.

The Indianapolis-based utility said the increases will fund a $114 million upgrade to the water system and a $444 million tunnel system being bored beneath the city  to capture raw sewage that now overflows into streams.

“In order to continue investing in projects that remove raw sewage from our rivers and streams and that improve the quality of our drinking water, rate increases are necessary,” Carey Lykins, CEO of Citizens Energy Group, said in a statement.

Citizens acquired the city’s water and sewer systems more than a year ago in a deal worth $1.9 billion. The gas and steam utility claims that the acquisition has allowed it to achieve $112 million in annual savings.

The tunnel project is aimed at stopping the frequent overflowing of sewage into streams during heavy rains. The combined stormwater/wastewater system had to be remedied under a consent decree between the city and federal regulators.

 

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  • Rebuild Indy new moniker should be RESCREW TAXPAYERS
    Yeah a back door tax increase that if it was a SCHEDULE A DEDUCTION ON OUR 1040's would have saved federal income taxes so say if you are in the 28% federal bracket and you pay an additional $500 to Citizens you could have saved $140 in federal taxes. These BALLARD GOONS do not care about anyone but their grafter buddies.
  • No surprise
    I think that savings just means efficiencies that weren't available when the utilities were separate. In any event, this rate hike was always part of the deal. That $500 million windfall for RebuildIndy didn't just appear out of nowhere. It's a backdoor tax increase.
  • Annual Savings?
    I guess I'm confused... if they're now seeing $112 millon/year in savings, why are they passing on additional costs for upgrades which they were aware of when the purchase was negotiated? Why wasn't the purchase price decreased, or maybe it was and they're just wanting to pass on expenses to the customers while they continue to see considerable savings. IURC - Please deny the request!!

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    1. Why not take some time to do some research before traveling to that Indiana town or city, and find the ones that are no smoking either inside, or have a patio? People like yourself are just being selfish, and unnecessarily trying to take away all indoor venues that smokers can enjoy themselves at. Last time I checked, it is still a free country, and businesses do respond to market pressure and will ban smoking, if there's enough demand by customers for it(i.e. Linebacker Lounge in South Bend, and Rack and Helen's in New Haven, IN, outside of Fort Wayne). Indiana law already unnecessarily forced restaurants with a bar area to be no smoking, so why not support those restaurants that were forced to ban smoking against their will? Also, I'm always surprised at the number of bars that chose to ban smoking on their own, in non-ban parts of Indiana I'll sometimes travel into. Whiting, IN(just southeast of Chicago) has at least a few bars that went no smoking on their own accord, and despite no selfish government ban forcing those bars to make that move against their will! I'd much rather have a balance of both smoking and non-smoking bars, rather than a complete bar smoking ban that'll only force more bars to close their doors. And besides IMO, there are much worser things to worry about, than cigarette smoke inside a bar. If you feel a bar is too smoky, then simply walk out and take your business to a different bar!

    2. As other states are realizing the harm in jailing offenders of marijuana...Indiana steps backwards into the script of Reefer Madness. Well...you guys voted for your Gov...up to you to vote him out. Signed, Citizen of Florida...the next state to have medical marijuana.

    3. It's empowering for this niche community to know that they have an advocate on their side in case things go awry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lrst9VXVKfE

    4. Apparently the settlement over Angie's List "bundling" charges hasn't stopped the practice! My membership is up for renewal, and I'm on my third email trying to get a "basic" membership rather than the "bundled" version they're trying to charge me for. Frustrating!!

    5. Well....as a vendor to both of these builders I guess I have the right to comment. Davis closed his doors with integrity.He paid me every penny he owed me. Estridge,STILL owes me thousands and thousands of dollars. The last few years of my life have been spent working 2 jobs, paying off the suppliers I used to work on Estridge jobs and just struggling to survive. Shame on you Paul...and shame on you IBJ! Maybe you should have contacted the hundreds of vendors that Paul stiffed. I'm sure your "rises from the ashes" spin on reporting would have contained true stories of real people who have struggled to find work and pay of their debts (something that Paul didn't even attempt to do).

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