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Waterworks proposes 35-percent rate hike

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The Indianapolis Department of Waterworks today unveiled a capital-improvements proposal that would raise water rates for the average residential customer by 35 percent, or $8 a month.

The proposed projects totaling $111 million were filed with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, which must weigh whether to approve all or part of the amount. That could take a year.

The largest single infrastructure project amounts to $31.9 million in general distribution-system improvements over 4,264 miles of water mains.

The department also wants to spend $27.5 million to build an alternative intake for the White River Treatment Plant northwest of downtown. Currently, most of the plant’s water comes from White River in Broad Ripple, via the 7-mile Central Canal.

The department seeks an alternative source in the event the canal or a key dam on the White River happens to fail, and as a backup during maintenance. The canal system would still be the primary source, as it moves water by gravity versus the need for a pumping station.

An additional $1.1 million is sought to make improvements to the dam on the White River, resulting from damage to its concrete apron last February.

The other big capital request is $23.2 million to add water-disinfection systems at the department’s other water plants to comply with stricter Environmental Protection Agency mandates.

Earlier this year, the city won a 12-percent emergency rate hike from the IURC, having initially sought nearly 18 percent. The emergency hike was the fallout of a failed bond refinancing strategy undertaken by the city a few years ago that put the bulk of the water utility’s debt in variable-rate bonds. Costs soared after the meltdown of financial markets last year.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard this summer sought ideas on how to reduce costs of the city’s water and sewer systems. The city has received proposals ranging from selling the utilities to Indianapolis-based Citizens Energy to various new management schemes by private firms.

If approved as submitted, the average monthly residential bill would rise to $31.33 from $23.22.
 

 

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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..............

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