Monday, March 22, 2010

Mayor Ballard Announces Utility Public Meeting Schedule

City and Citizens Energy Group Seek Public Input on Utility Transfer, Infrastructure Investment

Mayor Greg Ballard announced a public meeting schedule today to garner feedback from Indianapolis residents concerning the memorandum of understanding (MOU) to transfer the City of Indianapolis’ (City) water and wastewater utilities to Citizens Energy Group (Citizens).

“Public involvement and accountability are imperative to the success of this transfer. This process began more than one year ago with the formation of the Infrastructure Advisory Commission and will continue with transparent study and public deliberation,” Mayor Ballard said. “As we move forward with due diligence and explore how to invest the $425 million earned through the transfer, we want to hear from residents, who live in the neighborhoods with crumbling streets, curbs and sidewalks, about their infrastructure investment priorities.”

The public meeting schedule includes:

March 23, 6:30-8 p.m.: George Washington High School Cafeteria, 2215
W. Washington St.

March 29, 6:30-8 p.m.: Aldersgate Free Methodist Church, 9035 E 21st St.
April 13, 6:30-8 p.m.: Nu Corinthian Church’s Family Life Center, 5935 W.56th St.
April 20, 5-6:30 p.m.: Divine Savior Lutheran Church, 7315 E. 75th St.

Representatives from Mayor Ballard’s administration, Carey Lykins, Citizens CEO, and other key Citizens staff will be on hand to answer questions from residents and ratepayers regarding the transfer of the water and wastewater utilities.

“At Citizens we are looking forward to answering questions and providing information about the advantages of the utility transfer. We want to hear from our owners – the citizens of our community – about the most efficient and effective ways to run their utilities,” said Lykins.

On March 10, 2010, Mayor Ballard and Lykins signed the MOU to transfer the water and wastewater utilities to Citizens. Pending negotiation of final agreement and Board of Waterworks, Board of Public Works, City-Council Council and IURC approval, the City will receive more than $425 million that will be directly invested in the City’s crumbling infrastructure. In addition, Citizens agrees to assume approximately $1.5 billion of City debt (combined debt of waterworks and wastewater).

Citizens estimates that by the year 2025 combined water and wastewater rates will be 25 percent lower under its ownership compared to other options available to the City. Lower water and wastewater rates will be achieved through an estimated $40 million in annual savings available by combining operations of the water utilities with Citizens’ gas, steam and chilled water systems.

The Mayor intends to file legislation for the utility transfers with the Indianapolis City-County Council on April 16. In addition to approval by the City-County Council, the utility transfer must be approved by the Board of Water Works, the Board of Public Works and the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. Full approval would likely take place in late 2010.

For more information about the utility transfers and the schedule for public meetings, visit or call 317-327-4MAC.

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