Utilities

Winning bidder plans mixed-use project: Plan for state-owned parcel would add new neighbors for Bourbon Street Distillery, Musicians' Repair & SalesRestricted Content

April 30, 2007
Cory Schouten
The winning bidder for a prime piece of state-owned land on the west side of downtown hopes to break ground later this year on a residential and retail complex. The project would replace a shabby parking lot on a triangle-shaped block that is now anchored by The Bourbon Street Distillery and Musicians' Repair & Sales. The U-shaped, 0.75-acre property at 340 N. Capitol Ave. touches Indiana Avenue, Capitol Avenue and Vermont Street. The development likely would include condos above a...
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Software firm finally making name for itself: Fusion quietly becomes giant in local tech industryRestricted Content

March 5, 2007
Scott Olson
Doug Brown might not know how to name a company, but he sure knows how to grow one. CEO Brown, 46, co-founded Fusion Alliance Inc. in 1994 along with Tim Shaw, who is no longer active in the firm. The company has since blossomed into the Indianapolis-area's's largest software developer, with 196 staff and contract software engineers and programmers. Much of the growth coincides with the decision in 2000 to rechristen the northwest-side company from its original and less glamorous...
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Snowstorm meant long hours, extra bucks for some: Plowing works as a side gig, but no one's getting richRestricted Content

February 26, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
When the snow started flying during central Indiana's impressive winter storm this month, some residents bought bread and eggs and hunkered down to wait out the white stuff. Others tuned up their trucks and revved their snow blowers in hopes of seeing a lot of green. Many area city and town officials had private contractors on their speed dial-reinforcements who would help clear the foot of snow that fell in the Indianapolis area Feb. 13-14. The workers ranged from a...
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Bill would let utilities pass on more costs without rate hearingsRestricted Content

February 26, 2007
Chris O'Malley
Utility ratepayer groups say House Bill 1496, which is stuck in committee, is typical of what they see as a disturbing trend: allowing utilities to pass the cost of mandates directly to consumers. HB 1496 would require Indiana's coal-reliant electric utilities to generate at least 10 percent of their power from renewable energy sources like wind and landfill gas.
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NOTIONS: Can you look at the world through others' eyes?Restricted Content

February 5, 2007
Bruce Hetrick
For the past few months, I've served on a search committee for a large not-forprofit organization. We're hoping to select and hire a senior public relations executive. During interviews for this position, many finalists have said the same thing: The organization needs to do a better job of "getting its message out." This doesn't surprise me. As head of a marketing communications consultancy, my phone rings frequently with prospective clients wanting help "getting our message out" because "we're the best-kept...
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Generator-maker finding new ways to get energyRestricted Content

January 29, 2007
Chris O'Malley
I Power Energy Systems, which makes natural-gas-powered electric generators that are the primary power source of corporate and college campuses, is a novelty in Indiana. After all, coal is still a cheaper source of electricity than is natural gas. But I Power is developing applications for electric generators that burn biogas from sources ranging from garbage to ground-up corn.
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EYE ON THE PIE: Time for progressive Indiana income tax?Restricted Content

December 11, 2006
Morton Marcus
There is growing agreement that the rich are getting richer faster than the poor are improving their lives. If you believe the trickle-down theorists, the poor will get the runoff as wealth is showered upon the few. If you look about, however, you will question this charming opinion held by the comfortable. At the same time, policies at the national and state levels continue to emphasize cutting the most important means we have of correcting this growing imbalance in America....
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IPL plan secrecy brings rebuke from watchdog groupRestricted Content

December 4, 2006
Chris O'Malley
The state's public access counselor says Indiana's utility regulators failed to make a legal case for keeping information about Indianapolis Power & Light's controversial "Elect Plan" out of public view.
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Plant to be a real gas for price stability?: Utilities betting gasification will ease volatilityRestricted Content

December 4, 2006
Chris O\'malley
Two gas utilities serving central Indiana say they want to buy synthetic gas from a proposed coal gasification plant downstate to provide a hedge against price volatility. Citizens Gas & Coke Utility, which serves 266,000 Marion County customers, plans to buy up to 3 billion cubic feet of gas a year from Indiana Gasification LLC. The amount is equivalent to about 10 percent of Citizens' annual demand for natural gas. Meanwhile, Evansville-based Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana, which has 550,000...
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IPL seeks to expand green plansRestricted Content

September 4, 2006
Chris O'Malley
Electric customers would gain new payment options and more access to "green power," and Indianapolis Power & Light would have more opportunities to profit, under a plan the utility filed Aug. 23 with state regulators.
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BRIAN WILLIAMS Commentary: The heat will hurt more next winterRestricted Content

August 14, 2006
Geopolitical instability and increasing worldwide demand for fossil fuels have caused high energy prices. Indiana tax policies in support of the creation of ethanol and biodiesel production facilities are part of an effort to help wean our transportation infrastructure from fossil fuels. While ethanol may be a poor alternative to fossil fuels, Hoosier entrepreneurs' and policymakers' efforts in this area reflect a broad awareness that we need a sensible, comprehensive energy policy. A corollary to $3-per-gallon gas is increasing home-heating...
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Butler juniors to stay on campus next year: University wants to boost campus, fill apartmentsRestricted Content

August 7, 2006
Jennifer Whitson
Butler University underclassmen got what some saw as very bad news last week: Starting in the fall of 2007, juniors-like freshmen and sophomores-will be required to live on campus. The university claims the new rule will make for a stronger on-campus community, but the change coincides with Butler's struggle to fill a new 500-bed apartment facility, where rents are higher than offcampus rental houses. Butler President Bobby Fong said a change has been underway for years to try to align...
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New fiscal year, no cuts for IU School of Medicine: But concern remains about funds for future growthRestricted Content

July 24, 2006
Tom Murphy
No layoffs. No seven-figure budget cut to sweat through. IU School of Medicine Dean Dr. Craig Brater had many reasons to raise a toast this month, when a new fiscal year began and the school left behind an old one marked by the worst budget cuts in decades. Indeed, Brater said he is breathing a little easier as the school starts fiscal 2006-2007 with a budget of more than $815 million. An increase in clinical revenue and grant money helped...
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Hilbert estate drawing some offers: Letterman, Babyface, Judd not interestedRestricted Content

June 19, 2006
Tom Murphy
Colts quarterback Peyton Manning passed on a chance to buy the Carmel estate built for Conseco Inc. founder Stephen Hilbert that's on the market for a cool $20 million. Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal also rejected the opportunity a couple of times, real estate broker Dick Richwine said. Nearly a year after it went up for sale, the Carmel property labeled the most expensive home in Indiana is still searching for the right buyer. But a recent flurry of interest and...
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DANIELS' DEAL CLOSERS: IEDC generating jobs, but economy shares part of creditRestricted Content

June 5, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
It would have been big. Just last month, a team of officials from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and The Indy Partnership, its local equivalent, were furiously negotiating with South Carolinabased fire-engine maker American LaFrance. Intrigued by a mix of economic incentives and Indiana's central location, American LaFrance considered moving its operations to Marion County. In formal negotiations, the company dangled promises of 653 jobs and a capital investment of $18.5 million. State records don't reveal what incentives Indiana offered...
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Suit puts One Call on hold: Firm placed in receivership as lender seeks $21 millionRestricted Content

May 22, 2006
Chris O\'malley
One Call Communications has been placed in receivership, a day after a lender for its 2002 management buyout filed a lawsuit alleging the Carmel long-distance and operator-services company owes it more than $21 million. The May 11 lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis by Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank appears to be the knockout blow for a telecommunications firm accused by several states of violating consumer protection laws in billing and collection practices. Also looming is a proposed $1.1 million fine...
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States demand One Call answers: Carmel telephone firm 'out of control'Restricted Content

March 27, 2006
Chris O\'malley
A Carmel long-distance and operator service company has a lot to answer for these days. After crossing wires with Indiana regulators and with the Federal Communications Commission last year, One Call Communications now is being accused by Iowa and Missouri regulators of putting bogus charges on phone bills and then harassing people to pay. Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon this month filed a lawsuit alleging the privately held company violated state and federal consumer protection laws. Nixon said the company...
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VIEWPOINT: State's STIF-necked response shortsightedRestricted Content

February 20, 2006
Ernie Reno
Chances are, most of you have never heard of the acronym "STIF." The four letters stand for sales tax increment financing. Indiana has created so-called STIF districts around the state to stimulate economic development, or so we thought. STIF districts work simply: They allow a portion of sales taxes generated at new retail projects to be redirected to pay the cost of public improvements related to the projects, things like curbs and sidewalks, streets, sewers, other utilities, drainage and landscaping....
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Bills clash over video regulation: Phone giants, cable firms fight about franchising rulesRestricted Content

February 6, 2006
Chris O\'malley
In fact, some say the franchising clash has overshadowed the real implications of deregulation: Cable operators will get their first real competition since satellite TV mushroomed in the mid-1990s. Municipalities, which grant franchise agreements to cable TV companies and collect millions in fees in return, hyperventilated when Sen. Brandt Hershman, R-Wheatfield, introduced Senate Bill 245 last month. It would give the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission the job of doling out statewide video franchises. Cities would lose that authority, but would...
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State's plans for Larue Carter remain uncertain: New hosptal ideas are still under considerationRestricted Content

January 9, 2006
Tom Murphy
A year after the administration of then-Gov. Joe Kernan proposed building a new Larue D. Carter Memorial Hospital, the future of Indianapolis' lone state-owned psychiatric hospital remains murky. The Indiana State Office Building Commission bought an 18-acre site near the IUPUI campus in December 2004, during the waning days of the Kernan administration. State officials talked then about spending as much as $55 million to build a Larue Carter that would replace the existing hospital, which is part of an...
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Water treaty on tap: Mediated agreement calls for Carmel to pay Indy $36.2MRestricted Content

December 5, 2005
Chris O\'malley
Carmel and its big-city neighbor to the south have a truce in hand to end a 3-1/2-year war over what Carmel will pay to buy Indianapolis-owned water distribution lines serving 6,000 customers in the Hamilton County community. The proposed purchase price: $36.2 million, according to documents recently filed with state regulators. Carmel officials say the deal eventually should improve water pressure and lower fire insurance rates, and make it easier to plan for growth. It also would give affected residents...
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Plan to let affiliate use gas field sparks opposition: Citizens Gas industrial customers say recent hurricanes show potential for supply disruption, price spikesRestricted Content

November 28, 2005
Chris O\'malley
Big manufacturers have asked regulators to reconsider allowing an unregulated affiliate of Citizens Gas & Coke Utility to use the Indianapolis utility's Greene County gas storage facility. General Motors Corp., Reilly Industries and Rolls-Royce Corp. warn that Citizens Gas & Coke Utility's supply of gas it buys during warm-weather months could be at risk if gas marketing firm Pro-Liance Energy LLC is allowed to control the underground gas storage field. ProLiance sells natural gas to utilities and large-volume gas customers...
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Marketing firm nabs big East Coast client: MillerWhite uses unusual approach to beat Massachusetts incumbentRestricted Content

November 21, 2005
Anthony Schoettle
MillerWhite LLC, a 21-person advertising and marketing agency with offices in Indianapolis and Terre Haute, is the new agency of record for Boston-based Ameresco Inc. Ameresco, which helps clients in almost 40 U.S. and Canadian markets reduce energy costs by modernizing infrastructure and managing power supply, is listed on Inc. magazine's fastestgrowing private firms list. The company, which generates annual revenue of almost $250 million, is poised for explosive growth, industry observers believe. Though financial terms of the deal were...
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Incentive search shot down: University Loft eyes Tennessee after Hancock County spurns request to create a TIF districtRestricted Content

November 14, 2005
Anthony Schoettle
Hancock County Commissioners' unwillingness to consider creating a Tax Increment Financing district has sent a growing Indianapolis-based manufacturer looking for a new expansion site, possibly out of state. University Loft Co. CEO James N. Jannetides said he was continually rebuffed over a months-long process to get the tax incentives his company needed to bring 200-plus jobs to the county directly east of Marion County. Now Jannetides said he might look to consolidate manufacturing in Tennessee where he opened a plant...
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Movements in midtown may mean more housing, retail: Handful of developers take on North Meridian projectsRestricted Content

November 14, 2005
Tammy Lieber
"It's just a matter of time." At this point, the statement may reflect more hope than reality. The city's main corridor is a concrete jungle through much of midtown, filled with parking lots, for-sale signs and buildings exhibiting nearly nonexistent design standards. However, a small-butgrowing number of developers is showing interest in revitalizing the main corridor through midtown. One of the newest plans would create a mixed-use development at 21st and Meridian streets called Meridian at 21. Local businessman Jeffrey...
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