Utilities Complex Status Pending
(posted Apr 9)
|click on images to expand
|The utilities complex (top) is currently slated to occupy the site of Praxair's
lime pile (below)
Source: July 2007 final concept plan
The Speedway Redevelopment Commission is facing another delay with the
Central Utilities Complex being placed on hold. The estimated $23 million
facility was supposed to be in operation by September 2008, generating steam and pre-treating wastewater for Allison Transmission.
Indiana Citizen Gas Public Information Officer Dan Considine said "The
project is on hold. A required service contract has not been secured."
Harris told the town council at their December 8 meeting that financing
was being led by Town Manager Barbara Lawrence, and "we still anticipate
issuing bonds in late January." The bonds are needed to pay off the
$5.7 million bond anticipation note. Harris said SRC needed to acquire
about 35 acres in the next six months "to obtain final commitments
At its March 16 SRC meeting, President Vince Noblet said the SRC is holding
off from issuing bonds until the SRC obtains commitments from stakeholders'
investments to cover the bond debt with TIF revenues. The SRC is also looking
for stimulus money to avoid using local tax dollars. Moody's investors
service has rated Speedway Aa3, their top rating is Aaa. Carmel's redevelopment
authority bonds are also Aa3.
The CUC project was a critical piece used by the SRC to receive the $62
million bond approval for road work from the Department of Local Government
Finance during the June 28, 2008 hearing.
Attorney Jim Gutting told the DLGF things were on the "cusp with commitments"
for development. He told the board that if the land was available, the
Central Utilities Complex would begin construction the next day. Speedway
Utilities Management LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Citizen Gas, will
construct and operate natural gas fired boilers to serve Allison and future
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission denied Speedway Utilities Management
the ability to set its own energy rates without seeking IURC approval on
June 4th. A partial appeal was filed which the IURC denied in August of
Allison Transmission Public Relations Director Eric Dickerson said "I
am not aware of the situation with Citizens Gas or our internal plans as
they relate to steam."
Tim Snyder of Local Union 933 said the CUC would not affect the union's
The CUC project started before Allison changed ownership and Dickerson
was hired. The SRC members spent time traveling to GM-Detroit when Allison
was under its control to develop the plan. The SRC hired consultant Charles
Fraley to help with negotiations.
Plans call for the CUC to be built on the south side of the proposed extension
of Gilman where it will intersect with Polco. The site is currently owned
by Praxair and is home to a large pile of lime. The SRC and Praxair have
been unable to come to terms over the site's status.
When contacted by The Navigator on March 31 for an update on the CUC project,
SRC Executive Director Scott Harris said he was out of town on vacation
and would respond by April 6th. An April 6th email to Harris remains unanswered.