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Department of Waterworks chief to address canal concerns

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If they ever do a remake of “Waterworld,” Matthew T. Klein might want to audition for the role of Mariner, which was played by Kevin Costner.

Like Costner’s character, who was being chased by pirates and mutants, the executive director of the city’s Department of Waterworks for the last year has been dogged by a torrent of trouble facing the city’s water utility.
 

utilities Indianapolis Water has been a lightning rod for controversy. (IBJ File Photo)

Not the least of which was fallout from Indianapolis Water’s request for a 35-percent rate increase to comply with new federal regulations and to complete capital projects deferred since the city bought the utility five years ago.

If he’s not hearing partisan criticism about the rate hikes, he’s hearing from Broad Ripple residents concerned the utility will make a mess of things when it trenches and resurfaces the Central Canal.

A paradise to waterfowl and walkers in Broad Ripple, the seven-mile stretch of canal is the city’s primary conduit of raw water, carrying it from a dam in Broad Ripple to the main water treatment plant closer to downtown.

Klein has agreed to serve on a panel discussion concerning the canal: “Indy’s Central Canal—public resource or private pipeline?” during the Indiana University Law Environmental Symposium, April 1 at IUPUI’s Inlow Hall.

Other panelists include Tom Healy, of the Broad Ripple Village Association, and Lou Ann Baker, a vice president for Veolia Water, which the city hired to operate the utility under the department’s supervision.

The symposium also will discuss water quality issues and whether Indiana could face the kind of water-scarcity problems that have caused skirmishes in Southwestern states.

Mayor Greg Ballard earlier this month announced a tentative agreement to sell the city’s water and sewer utilities to Citizens Energy. The city would wipe from its books $1.5 billion in debt and receive more than $425 million in cash that would be used for various infrastructure improvements.

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  1. How is the private developer going to repay the bonds. Is this going to be a toll road?

  2. As well as a Portillio'S!!!!!!

  3. A Lou Malnati's would be awesome!!!!!!!!

  4. We aren't broke. We just aren't willing to raise revenues for this that we should be raising them.

  5. OK. now that the state is taking illegal immigrants, willing or not. There is a major concern that needs to be addressed. First: School starts here in 3 weeks in most parts of the country and probably in Indiana. So is the state going to vaccinate these kids before they intermingle with our kids in school? The problem we are going to have here in the US and possibly in Indiana is that some of these kids could be carrying health issues or diseases that are pretty much eradicated in the US. This could cause a major health issue in the US. Second: Who is going to pay for this building disaster? We are flat out broke….. Down here in Texas, we have 14 counties that have been so swamped with kids, (numerous thousands of them), they are on the verge of financial collapse. Now this is happening in counties in New Mexico, Arizona and California. The system is massively overloaded. Swine flu has started back up in San Antonio since they have nearly 2500 kids that have been placed there and lice is rampant. Not to be insensitive, but we need to stop this madness. I find it amazing that we cannot take care of our veterans and yet give carte blanche to illegals entering the country. Recently an article mentioned that these kids and teenagers can get on planes without TSA screening? What? What the Hell???? Keep in mind this about protecting our national sovereignty as a nation and also living under the rule of law. Not only the terrorist threat that can come over the border. This is a deliberate and irresponsible and illegal act from administration ignoring the constitutional duty of protecting the borders and also upholding the supreme law of the land. This is a classic Cloward and Piven strategy to overload the system until it collapses.

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