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Indy Water and Sewer Rate Hikes Souht

Citizens Energy Group, which bought Indianapolis’ water and sewer system in 2011, is petitioning the state regulatory commission for rate increases to finance $560 million in capital improvements.

The non-profit utility last Thursday filed a request with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for a 10% increase in water bills and a gradual 47% increase in sewer bills, according to local reports.

The new revenue would finance a $114 million upgrade to the water system and a $444 million tunnel system to deal with the city’s combined sewer overflow problem.

The sewer project is mandated under a consent decree with the Environmental Protection Agency.

“In order to continue investing in projects that remove raw sewage from our rivers and streams and that improve the quality of our drinking water, rate increases are necessary,” Carey Lykins, Citizens’ CEO, said in a statement.

Citizens bought the water and sewer systems from Indianapolis in 2011 for $1.9 billion, marking the largest privatization of such assets to date. The utility agreed to take over the $1.7 billion, 15-year EPA plan as part of the deal.

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