The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Politics

March 24, 2013

Citizens Energy evaluates water needs

Utility buys Southern Madison Utilities, LLC

ANDERSON, Ind. —  Indianapolis is thirsty and needs water.

Not today. Not tomorrow.

But soon.

Rob Sparks, executive director of the Anderson Madison County Corporation for Economic Development, believes the proposed Mounds Lake Reservoir could help slack that thirst.

“Citizens has sufficient water resources currently available to meet our short-term needs, said Sarah Holsapple, spokeswoman for Citizens Energy Group, which purchased Indianapolis Water 15 months ago. “Our long-term planning process indicates we will likely need an additional 30-40 million gallons per day (mgd) of water resources over the next 10 years.”

She said the utility is evaluating a number of options to address the Indianapolis metropolitan area’s growing need, including conservation, new rate structures, ground and surface water options as well as storage programs. Among the options under consideration is drawing water from the Ohio and Wabash rivers.

Citizens has tapped one Madison County source to meet its short-term needs.

The utility confirmed Thursday that it has purchased Southern Madison Utilities LLC, which was created in 2001 by Bill Hobbs, owner of Busby Drilling Co. of Anderson.

Talks between Hobbs and Citizens began in October and were finalized last week, Hobbs said. The utility’s largest wholesale customer is the town of Pendleton, according to Hobbs.

Mounds Lake Reservoir would begin at a dam on White River just east of East Lynn and 18th streets in Anderson, backing water up seven miles into Delaware County to around County Road 300 South and South High Banks Road.

According to Sparks, the reservoir would control billions of gallons of water in central Indiana, which could minimize the impact of future droughts and floods.

At the dam, the lake would capture and control more than 400 square miles of the White River watershed, a 67 percent increase over the combined watershed captured by Eagle Creek, Geist and Morse reservoirs.

The 2,100-acre reservoir would cost an estimated $350 to $400 million to build.

Although Citizens Energy would seem to be a natural partner for the Mounds Lake Reservoir project, it has made no commitments to the plan.

One reason is that planning is still in the early stages for so massive a project. Sparks is working on scheduling public meetings about the proposal, creating a 10-member commission comprised of elected officials from Madison and Delaware counties, Anderson and the towns of Chesterfield and Daleville.

After the creation of that commission a more extensive feasibility study would need to be completed and a funding partner found, Sparks said.

Citizens spokeswoman Holsapple said the utility has not considered or analyzed financial plans or partnerships related to the Mounds Lake proposals.

“We will continue to monitor the study as it progresses and consider the potential impacts on our system and central Indiana,” she said.

Find Stu Hirsch on Facebook and @StuHirsch on Twitter, or call 640-4861.

1
Text Only
Local Politics
  • NWS - HB0417 - election forum - 15 Candidates meet in Alexandria

    Several Madison County candidates running for a variety of offices met at Alexandria-Monroe High School Wednesday night to introduce themselves to voters and talk about some issues.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Leaders await decision on Indiana Plan expansion

    Two of the state's top Republican lawmakers said Tuesday that they would like to see the federal government sign off on an expansion of Medicaid through the state's health care plan for low-income residents, but they added that they have little idea how soon that could happen.

    April 16, 2014

  • Commissioners vote to eliminate Personnel Board Madison County commissioners have decided to end the county’s Personnel Board.

    April 15, 2014

  • Primary voting starts at courthouse Through the first week of early voting for the May 6 primary, the Madison County Voter Registration office has been less than overwhelmed.

    April 15, 2014

  • Hayden, Maureen mug Maureen Hayden: Want better teacher ratings? Ask the kids The state may be back where it started, encumbered with a flawed teacher grading system, a year after implementing what were meant to be tough new standards.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ken de la Bastide: Local Dems want to change redistricting process There is an old saying that goes "to the victor goes the spoils." In politics the spoils usually involves the drawing of legislative districts for the Indiana General Assembly and the seats in the U.S. House.

    April 12, 2014

  • NWS - HB0409 - Cleanup - JC 3-file City of Anderson won't participate in annual cleanup For the first time in 29 years, there will be no citywide cleanup this year, because of expenses incurred by the City of Anderson this past winter.

    April 9, 2014 3 Photos

  • Local lawmakers bemoan no local road funding Despite efforts by three Madison County lawmakers, the Indiana General Assembly didn’t provide funding for the improvement of local roads.

    April 7, 2014

  • AP907524370424.jpg U.S. attorney battles public corruption

    U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett has raised his profile by ramping up prosecutions of gang members and corrupt politicians, arguing that both undermine the public’s sense of safety, since he became top federal prosecutor in a district that covers two-thirds of the state.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sen. Coats ends up in wrong meeting School kids and business people who start with a new company often worry about showing up in the wrong classroom or meeting. It can happen to a veteran U.S. senator, too.

    April 4, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide