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Westfield and Citizens to Complete Utility Transfer

3/17/2014
 

INDIANAPOLIS – The City of Westfield and Citizens Energy Group will complete the transfer of the community's water and wastewater utilities to Citizens on Friday, March 21. Citizens will begin operating the water and wastewater utilities on Saturday, March 22.

The transfer will create Citizens Westfield, a water, wastewater and natural gas utility providing excellent service for the fast-growing Hamilton County community. Citizens acquired Westfield Gas in 2004. The new utility will have 11,000 water, 10,000 wastewater and 3,700 gas customers.  In addition, the transfer will:

  • Provide the City of Westfield about $40 million for much needed infrastructure including new streets, sidewalks and walking trail expansions
  • Eliminate Westfield’s $45 million in utility debt
  • Retain the current five-year schedule of modest utility rate increases previously approved by the Westfield City Council
  • Retain the experience and knowledge of existing Westfield utility employees

“The completion of the utility transfer will be a transformational step for the Westfield community. The transfer will allow us to move forward with our Westfield Where You Want to Be initiative to build much-needed infrastructure without raising taxes. At the same time, we are securing our vital water and wastewater utilities with a trusted company committed to predictable rates, outstanding customer service and future community growth,” said Westfield Mayor Andy Cook.

On September 24, 2012, Mayor Cook and Citizens announced the plan to transfer the community's water and wastewater utilities to Citizens for a purchase price of $91 million. After a public input process that included four town hall meetings, the Westfield City Council approved the utility transfer by a 6-1 vote on November 5, 2012. The transfer was approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission on November 25, 2013.

For the past several months, Westfield and Citizens officials have been planning an efficient transition for Westfield Utilities’ customers.

"We are excited to provide outstanding water, wastewater and gas services to the Westfield community. Citizens is committed to helping Westfield grow by utilizing local and regional water resources, and by making the infrastructure investments necessary to ensure safety, reliability and environmental protection," said Carey Lykins, President & CEO, Citizens Energy Group.

Citizens Westfield customers will only notice a few changes to their service in the coming weeks including:

  • New phone number – Starting March 22, customers with service issues should call Citizens Westfield at(800) 282-9276.
  • Citizens Westfield billing – Starting the week of March 24, Citizens Westfield will issue its first bill for water and wastewater services, but it will not bill customers for trash and stormwater services. Customers in the Westfield area currently receiving gas from Vectren will remain with Vectren.
  • Quarterly trash and stormwater bill – The City of Westfield will bill customers for trash and stormwater on a quarterly basis starting in April.
  • New post office box – Citizens Westfield will have a new address for billing and payment purposes:

Citizens Westfield

P.O. Box 7067

Indianapolis, IN 46207-7067

In about a year, Citizens will reformat the current water and wastewater bill to include comparative data to help customers track their usage. At the same time, Citizens will also offer new payment options including  new payment locations; EasyPay, for online and telephone payments using your checking account; Paperless Billing; and Budget Billing, which allows customers to pay the same amount each month based on annual usage.

"Citizens is committed to a smooth transition for our new Westfield customers. We look forward to being a vital community partner dedicated to helping ensure Westfield remains one of the most livable and vibrant communities in Central Indiana," Lykins said.


About Citizens Energy Group

Citizens Energy Group provides safe and reliable utility services to about 800,000 people in the Indianapolis area. Citizens operates its utilities only for the benefit of customers and the community. Additional information is available online at Facebook - Twitter - LinkedIn - YouTube

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