Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Aqua Indiana Takeover

At tonight's city council meeting Ted Nitza, engineer and program manager for City Utilities, gave a devastating presentation on why the city of Fort Wayne must take over Aqua Indiana North. I assure you there wasn't a single person in the room that left there thinking the city was making a mistake.

After Nitza's presentation, the attorney for Aqua Indiana spoke before council and essentially made a fool out of himself when he said that he could rebut all of Nitza's points but he figured people would want to get home and watch television instead. I'm not joking. Then when pressed on the simplest details that anyone involved with Aqua Indiana should know, he had no answers. All in all, an extraordinarily professional display from Nitza (something we don't always get from the city) and a woeful performance from Aqua Indiana.

I hope to have the presentation available for download tomorrow as I think many of you will want to look at it but for now here are a few highlights:

  1. Aqua Indiana sends 50% more sewage/household than the IDEM design standard; this is the equivalent of 328 households of waste

  2. Aqua Indiana has a 90 day 610,000 gal limit and they've exceeded it 77% of the time
  3. Despite budgeting $400k/year for improvements they have actually only spent $34k, $38k and $150k in 2004-2006

  4. Aqua Indiana owes the city $2.1 Million and 75% of their payments were late and no late fees have been paid

  5. 83% of the $30 Million investment they are using to justify their 100% rate increase for their North residents was actually made in Southwest Fort Wayne

  6. There will be no rate increase to existing city customers


Really, this just doesn't do it justice - wait until you see the whole presentation...

3 comments:

Sam DiFilippo said...

It's about time someone brought Aqua Indiana under the microscope. I hope the city brings the hammer down hard on them. I have even heard rumors that they build fake pump houses, and usually tap into city lines illegally. Can't wait for the meeting coverage.

Angie said...

Go Ted! Go!

Tom said...

Im sorry to say it, but it is a sad day in America when the government can order a PRIVATE business to sell itself and not have every freedom-loving person in Ft. Wayne (yes there are some) absolutely OUTRAGED. If you think the City can run this utility any better, then you are deeply mistaken. Ft. Wayne is a city that can't even afford to protect its police officers, so why the HELL are they trying to commandeer a water/ wastewater utility? The government has defined roles--like protecting the public, etc.--and private companies are legally regulated and allowed to earn a FAIR rate of return on water and wastewater assets. It may surprize some of you lemmings that, unlike private utilities, public utilities have NO regulatory oversite and are allowed to charge ANY rate for service. Private utilities can only earn profits at set levels based on there actual level of investment. In fact, on average, they are allowed to earn an 10% rate of return on money they have invested in a utility.

Lets get the facts correct and realize that this is just another sad, sad example of the government trying to get more powerful and expand its greedy reach. WAKE-UP PEOPLE!