Indianapolis seeks solutions to improve water, wastewater systems

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, July 22, 2009 -- One of the Midwest's most viable cities is seeking international feedback on its water and wastewater systems in a request for expression of interest (REI)...

• Request issued to find the best ideas to make water and wastewater systems more environmentally friendly and deliver services at a lower cost

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, July 22, 2009 -- One of the Midwest's most viable cities is seeking international feedback on its water and wastewater systems in a request for expression of interest (REI). Released by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, the REI seeks ideas to improve the systems and deliver both services at a reduced cost to users in and around the City.

After seeking public input and a review of the City's infrastructure challenges, the Mayor's Infrastructure Advisory Commission recommended the issuance of this REI. Mayor Ballard created the four-member commission to assess the infrastructure challenges facing Indianapolis and to consider a variety of creative and innovative solutions.

"The Mayor asked the Commission to explore the wide range of infrastructure issues, with an initial focus on how we can keep water and wastewater rates in check," said Bill Blomquist, Commission Chairman and Dean of the IUPUI School of Liberal Arts. "We want to make sure we look at all possible solutions and approaches to save money on the capital and operating expenditures that impact these rates. It is also important that the development of solutions occur in an open and public fashion. The REI is prudent and timely, and we hope that many public, private, and non-profit organizations rise to the challenge and respond with innovative ideas to be considered."

"We are looking for real solutions to the substantial infrastructure challenges facing the City, not gimmicks," said Mayor Ballard. "I've directed our staff and asked the Commission to consider every single idea to reduce costs. People have enough challenges to make ends meet at home and at work, and we will consider every idea that reduces costs and reduces our impact on our environment while we make these essential improvements."

>> The REI can be found on the Commission's website. Responses to the REI are due August 21, 2009.

Questions should be directed to Michael Huber, the Mayor's Director of Enterprise Development, at mhuber@indy.gov. The Commission and Huber will review responses and make recommendations to the Mayor.

"Together, the water and wastewater systems require more than $3 billion in improvements over the next fifteen years. If we can save just a fraction of that amount, we will save tens of millions of dollars, while also constructing the necessary upgrades to protect the environment and our drinking water. We owe it to the taxpayers and ratepayers to explore every opportunity," said Huber.

Residents will have the opportunity to share their opinions with the Commission at the next public forum on Tuesday, August 11th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Julia Carson Center.

>> Visit the Mayor's website for a link to review previous Commission presentations and submit ideas

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