Monday, July 26, 2010

Merger

...So, if the city (this city) sells our water utility to the public-trust gas company, is Citizen's Gas gonna start having the same kind of chronic broken-main problems that plague Indianapolis Water?

Don't laugh too hard; the boosters of this little something-for-nothing are claimin' "cost savings," which we can prolly translate to "lost jobs." When a water main breaks, boo-hoo, things (mostly streets) get soaked and you might have to boil or even haul in your drinking water. Gas main, it's often just the least bit louder.

Maybe this is a great idea. Citizens Gas is, in my experience, a well-run outfit that delivers quality service at low cost. But what do they know from water companies? Sure, I'd like to think their excellent gas-man espirit de corps will infect whoever's left actually diggin' holes and spinnin' wrenches at the water company...but experience bids me fret it might be the other way 'round.

Food for thought. City-County Council votes on this brave new notion tonight. Hold onto your hats! --And your wallets.

4 comments:

Nathan said...

I think you're looking at apples and oranges. The merger probably will be a boon to the water company, which has put off infrastructure upgrades and general maintenance for years. On the other hand, CG can't afford not to upgrade and maintain infrastructure, and they're johnny on the spot if you report a potential gas leak.

What CG know about gas piping probably will translate quite positively to water piping.

For once I agree with an IndyStar editorial -- it's time to get this over with and merge the two utilities.

Roberta X said...

Oh, I hope it will work -- and not simply add another layer of managerial suckage to IWC.

Water company workers I have met were competent and cared about their work -- and usually way too few for the task at hand; and usually well-supplied with clipboard-bearing suits who didn't seem to be directing the work so much as marking down demerits.

If -- IF -- Citizen's Gas can fix that, more power to 'em. Veolia only managed to make it worse.

Nathan said...

I think just the removal of the Veolia managment layer will be a fabulous start.

Old Grouch said...

By-n-large CG has been well run, and the ownership structure helps isloate it from the sticky fingers of local government. Since they fixed their 70s-era inability to coordinate with the public works people (used to be- without fail- city would resurface a street; six weeks later Gas Co. would trench it to lay new pipe) I've had no complaints.