Utility user fees to be diverted

July 3, 2010
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

While no one involved in destroying the finances of the water company, included the supposedly vaunted management team of Veolia has been reprimanded, fired, resigned, dismissed or arrested, an additional [wrong] is being perpetrated on the citizens of Indianapolis by our city-county councilors, Mayor [Greg] Ballard and the board of Citizens Energy, by negotiating a “sale” of the water company to Citizens.

This “sale” will be paid for by borrowing against the water and sewer user fees that should only be used for supporting the delivery of water and sewer services. Instead, over $260 million will be borrowed by Citizens (paid for by our user fees) for a 30-year period, with said funds being deposited in the coffers of the Indianapolis Department of Public Works.

The fees paid to the water company that have already been raised (and are proposed to be raised by more than a third) are now intended to be diverted to repave streets and repair and construct sidewalks.

Of course, we are supposed to be happy about this diversion of user fees because savings have been wrangled from so-called “value engineering” and additional savings have been projected from the synergistic effect of combining the water and sewer utilities under the management of Citizens Energy, a public trust.

Our happiness should occur despite the fact that sewer user fees are projected to rise by 400 percent over the next 10-20 years to pay for the $3.5 billion project related to the combined sewer overflow consent decree and septic elimination program, etc. Any savings that might occur should be reflected in a reduction of the proposed rate increases that water and sewer ratepayers would pay in the future.

Larry Williams


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  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now