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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. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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