Veolia North America closing Indy office in consolidation effort

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Veolia North America, a utility giant that operated water and wastewater operations in Indianapolis from 2002 to 2010, has decided to close its downtown sales and service office as part of a national office-consolidation effort.

The local closure will affect an estimated 90 full-time employees and 20 local contractors.

In a memo to employees, Veolia North America CEO Bill DiCroce said company officials have decided not to renew the office lease in Indianapolis at 101 West Washington Street in PNC Center when the lease expires in mid-2018.

Operations in the office will mostly be moved to existing offices in Boston and Milwaukee, the memo said. Many of the employees will be given the option to relocate to the new offices.

“This decision was not made lightly,” DiCroce said in the memo. “Veolia has had an office in Indianapolis for many years with long-time employees calling it home and it will always be part of our proud history as a company.

“However, as a company, we must continue to improve our efficiency and I strongly believe that by bringing our people together in a reduced number of office locations, we strengthen the dynamics of our team. In the end, these will both help put us in a better position to compete and to grow the business.”

Boston-based Veolia North America, a subsidiary of Paris-based Veolia Environnement SA, provides water, energy, waste and other environmental services to more than 530 cities and 30,000 businesses. It employs about 7,800 people.

Veolia began managing the water utilities in Indianapolis in 2002 under a contract that was to have expired in 2022. The city agreed to pay Veolia a $29 million contract termination fee when Citizens Energy Group took over local water-utility operations in 2010.

At the time, Citizens said it would make job offers to “substantially all” of Veolia’s 436 employees at the local water utility.

After losing the contract, Veolia continued to maintain a smaller office in Indianapolis that handled payroll, benefits and invoicing operations as well as some other duties.

A Veolia spokeswoman did not return a phone message seeking further comment on the office-closure decision.

“We look forward to welcoming those who choose to relocate to Boston and Milwaukee and we wish the best for those who decide to remain close to their roots in Indianapolis,” DiCroce said in his memo. “Uprooting and moving is a difficult decision for companies and employees and we should respect each person’s decision. You can count on the company treating people fairly in the process.”

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