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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. PJ - Mall operators like Simon, and most developers/ land owners, establish individual legal entities for each property to avoid having a problem location sink the ship, or simply structure the note to exclude anything but the property acting as collateral. Usually both. The big banks that lend are big boys that know the risks and aren't mad at Simon for forking over the deed and walking away.

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