BLOG – In case you missed it, Citizens Water just issued a press release about them acquiring the Irving Materials, Inc. (IMI) stone quarry just miles away from the proposed Mounds Lake Reservoir. The Geist Reservoir overflow will cost around $20 million. The lake will be known as Citizens Reservoir and will be 230 feet deep on 88 acres.
Why didn’t this pop on during the $600,000 Phase I or II feasibility studies?
Carefully read this quote from Citizens vice president of water operations – the water utility company for Central Indiana:
“From our standpoint we’ve been focused on water resource planning for many years,” he said. “Since the 2012 drought we have accelerated our plans.”
Willman said the company has been looking for options like the new reservoir and new groundwater sources of water.
“The Anderson plan has never been in our long-range plan,” he said. “We can implement this project within our normal capital budget.”
What’s that you say Mr. Jim Willman, vice president of water operations for Citizens?
You acknowledge a water shortage; bought a stone quarry to fill it with water; all for a cost of $20 million.
Meanwhile, the Anderson City Council wants to spend $23 million on a Phase 3 feasibility study to decide if building a half-billion dollar reservoir is justified.
Bottom line – there is no longer a water shortage, and Mounds Lake lost their only likely buyer. Why would Daleville, Chesterfield and Yorktown agree to spend $23 million for more studies when there is no longer a buyer for the water?
What’s worse, with all the negatives already discovered with the Mounds Lake proposal, these communities could spend millions and still not get a reservoir.
How silly does Anderson City Council members look now? Can they retract their vote? Did Rob Sparks know about this and keep quiet?
But wait, this gets more interesting. We do like to take shots at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), mainly because our state is filthy and we think they are more interested in corporate profits than public or environmental health. Well, the IDEM chief weighed in on Mounds Lake several weeks ago, and made the following comments:
Tom Easterly, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, said his office is aware of the proposed Mounds Lake and thinks it should continue to be looked at.
Easterly said Thursday the proposed reservoir is intriguing to IDEM because of the water aspect.
“This is the only proposal in the area to address water needs going forward,” Easterly said. “I’ve been in favor of a comprehensive water plan for 10 years now.”
How could the IDEM chief not know about Citizens Water plans for water in Central Indiana?
The vice president of Citizens said they’ve been working on water contingency plans for years, yet the Indiana Department of Environmental Management is “stressing the need” for a comprehensive water plan.
In summary, Governor Pence told the Indiana Finance Authority to send Rob Sparks $660,000 with the name of one engineer to develop two feasibility studies, but the engineers were unable to discover a plan from the largest water utility in Central Indiana to buy and build another reservoir just miles away. And, because of the difficulties discovered in the feasibility studies, they want us to spend another $23 million to decide if flooding Anderson is possible.
Honest to Goodness Indiana, you can’t make this shit up.