Veolia North America, a utility giant that operated water and wastewater operations in Indianapolis from 2002 to 2010, is closing a local office that employs about 90 people.
The biggest contributor to an $11.8 million loss in 2012 was the wastewater unit it bought from the city the year before.
The price to get big industrial firms like Eli Lilly and Co., National Starch and Rolls-Royce Corp. to support the sale of the city’s water and sewer utilities to Citizens Energy Group is at least $1.5 million.
Testimony is part of effort to deny Veolia Water $29 million contract termination fee as part of utility sale. Group claims salaried employees owed millions of dollars.
The city should refuse to pay the contract-termination fee given alleged defaults by Veolia, the consumer group says. Veolia is out after city sells the water company to Citizens Energy Group.
Playing a limited role under Indianapolis Water's new owner, Citizens Energy, wouldn't be profitable, Veolia says. Citizens plans to make job offers to "substantially all" Veolia employees.
The waterworks board’s plan to hire outside consultants to study the proposed sale of Indianapolis Water could delay the deal.
Citizens Energy should have completed the majority of its due diligence of the city’s water and sewer utilities, which
it plans to acquire, by the end of this month.
Matthew Klein has agreed to serve on a panel discussion concerning the canal: “Indy’s Central Canal—public
or private pipeline?” during the Indiana University Law Environmental Symposium, April 1 at IUPUI’s Inlow Hall.
The city too often relied on the Department of Waterworks’ board, on consultants and on the private
operator, Veolia Water, rather than on the department’s own staff “to ensure safe and efficient
operation, maintenance and management” of Indianapolis Water. That’s one of several critical
findings of a consultant hired by the department and filed as part of a 35-percent rate-hike request
pending before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
Officials grappling with a water utility deep in debt and a sewer infrastructure needing upwards of $2 billion in
upgrades were swamped with proposals about how to fix the mess.
Already swamped with higher debt costs due to a bond refinancing fiasco, the city’s Department of Waterworks is asking
the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to OK a rate hike to pay for capital projects.
Customer groups say an 18-percent rate hike sought by the Indianapolis Department of Waterworks is excessive even for a utility
drowning in variable-rate bond debt that’s swelled since financial markets collapsed.