Tuesday, March 03, 2009
66% Hike In Sewer Fees Planned
If they don't raise your taxes, they'll get it from you through higher fees for city services. Indianapolis sewer fees were more than doubled last year. Now a plan is headed to the City-County Council to raise sewer rates 66% over the next four years. That's in addition to the 20% emergency rate increase sought by the Indianapolis Water Company on top of a general rate increase to pay for the absolutely insane decision by former City Controller Robert Clifford and Mayor Bart Peterson to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars using variable rate bonds which are now costing us over 9% interest. The Peterson administration purchased the water company for at least double what it was worth and then incurred another $300 million in debt for capital improvements, saddling taxpayers with more than $800 million in debt. The City is rushing the second $750 million phase of a 20-year plan to abate combined sewers from dumping untreated sewage into waterways, ostensibly to have a shot at using federal stimulus dollars for the project. The pressure is largely coming from the engineers, consultants and lawyers who contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Mayor Ballard's campaign committee (they represent more than 90% of the more than $1 million he collected) over the past year who stand to make millions off of the work. As the economy tanks, they are pulling out all of the stops to get your government leaders to spend money on projects to make up for the revenues they are losing from the private sector. Don't always believe what you read in the newspaper.