Water, sewer sale clears another hurdle

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The Indianapolis Board of Waterworks gave its blessings Friday to the sale of the city’s water and wastewater utilities to Citizens Energy Group.

That leaves the City-County Council and the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to vote whether or not to approve the $1.9 billion deal proposed by Mayor Greg Ballard last March.

The deal appeared threatened earlier this week when the measure fell short of the necessary votes among waterworks board members who either voted against it or abstained to obtain more information. Board chairman Marvin Scott reconvened the board, which approved it by a 4-1 tally. The lone vote opposing the sale was from Frank Short, a Democrat, and Washington Township Trustee.

The sale could wind up providing up to $425 million for use in city infrastructure improvements.  Citizens, which provides gas, steam and chilled water service to residents in Marion County, says combining the utilities under its umbrella will provide a number of efficiencies and keep rates lower than if the utilities remained in city hands.



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