Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Indianapolis Water Users Slammed Under Proposed Rate Hike

The unelected 7-member board that oversees the Indianapolis Water Company has quietly requested permission from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to seek an emergency order hiking water rates 20% on top of a general rate hike already planned. A spokesman for the Water Company blames the credit crisis for the need to hike rates, which will add an additional $5 a month for the average homeowner, according to WTHR's Mary Milz.

Mayor Bart Peterson and former City-County Council President Beurt SerVaas brokered a deal with NiSource to purchase the water utility back in 2000 for $522.5 million. At the time, city leaders said the acquisition of the utility was necessary to prevent NiSource from selling to another investor-owned utility, thereby protecting Indianapolis water users from an excessive rate increase of 30%, which the public was told would occur if the utility was not purchased. Mayor Peterson boasted at the time that the deal would save users about $6 a month. The city then privatized the utility's operation in a deal with Veolia, a French company. Controversy later erupted when it was learned that Peterson had not disclosed a financial interests he had regarding the utility that posed a conflict of interest. City attorneys assured the public that the negotiators had not profited from the deal.

As an officer of my homeowner's association, I find this belated announcement of the rate hike unacceptable. We set our budget in December for the current calendar year. The water bill is a significant monthly expense for our association. Did anyone hear our mayor or city council members discuss this with the public? Oh, yeah, it's not their decision. That belongs to the unelected board appointed by the mayor and council leaders. Who are they?

  • Barbara Howard
  • Carmen Hansen-Rivera
  • Michael Hudson
  • Dan DeMars
  • Jack Bayt
  • Samuel Odle
  • Dr. Marvin Scott

Indianapolis sewer users have been socked with mammoth increases in monthly fees in recent years to pay for sewer improvements ordered by the federal EPA to comply with the Clean Water Act. An increase at this time will only add to their pain, many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet.


artfuggins said...

Of the 7, 5 are recognized as GOP, 1 as a Dem and one I dont know...Seems like you need to talk to Ballard or the president of the City Council.

Indy4U2C said...

Wilson a/k/a artfuggins GET OUT OF HERE!

P. S. I wish they'd read meters monthly.

Indy4U2C said...


What is my Township Trustee doing about water rates??????? Is he going to open another office building or "Wellness Center" to address the problem? -Perhaps hire a few hundred more cronys using the MILLIONS OF SURPLUS TAX dollars in the bank!

Douglass said...

Clean Water Act? Some good that has done. It still tastes like pool water stewed in a rusty can. And last time I checked, fluoride was a toxic chemical. That's why we spit out our toothpaste. We shouldn't be swallowing it, so having that in the tap water isn't what I would call "clean."