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. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............