Support the Treatment Plant
The Ben Davis Conservancy District has provided our community reliable and affordable sanitary sewer service for 65 years, but we need your help. The Conservancy has a plan to build a treatment plant, and we need your support for a permit. Our treatment plant will benefit our community by allowing the Conservancy to control its costs.
About the Treatment Plant
Citizens Energy Group issued a letter to freeholders throughout the Ben Davis Conservancy District. The district was established in 1958 with the Indiana Conservancy Act to provide sewer service to our community. However, the Conservancy only pipes sewage from properties to a treatment plant owned and operated by Citizens Energy Group.
Citizens Energy Group has raised its rates in recent years with a projected increase of 900% from 2017 to 2025. So when the Conservancy announced that it would build a treatment plant to save money, Citizens responded with a $10 million offer to acquire the Conservancy – amounting to a few thousand dollars per property owner.
The acquisition would cost residents more throughout the years, particularly elderly residents with fixed incomes and low-wage families, as Citizens Energy Group would recover its $10 million investment through rate increases for residents. This is not without evidence. For example, Citizens acquired the sewer system in Westfield as a for-profit company and attempted to raise rates by 25%.
Residents of the Ben Davis community are apprehensive about the offer. In a recent online survey, residents overwhelmingly supported construction 13 to 1. Further, MSD Wayne Township Schools and multiple organizations throughout the community have committed their support, including the Indiana Rural Water Alliance.
The Ben Davis Conservancy District advocates for a treatment plant, promising to control costs for residents. The proposed facility is a 4.0 MGD extended aeration treatment plant with an aerobic sludge digestion process. Aerobic sludge digestion is a non-chemical process and uses oxygen for treatment. No noxious odors are produced as a result, such as methane or hydrogen sulfide. The plant will discharge into the Neeld Ditch with stringent effluent limits as determined by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM).
Take Our Survey
We want to know what you think. Should the Ben Davis Conservancy District construct a treatment plant? Use this link to complete our survey.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does the Conservancy need to build a treatment plant?
Citizens Energy Group treats our sewage. In recent years, Citizens has raised its prices significantly. By constructing a treatment plant, the Conservancy can control its costs and save you money.
What will happen if the Conservancy doesn’t get its permit?
Without a permit, the Ben Davis Conservancy won’t be able to control it’s costs. The Conservancy would continue to pay Citizens Energy Group for treatment, and, as Citizens increases its costs, the Conservancy will have to raise your rate. Here’s the bottom line: without a treatment plant, your monthly bill will get much higher.
Who will pay for the treatment plant?
The treatment plant will be paid for by bonds, and the bonds will be repaid from the money we would pay Citizens Energy Group to treat sewage.
Our Response to Citizens Energy Group
In recent years, Citizens Energy Group has raised its rates higher. So when the Conservancy announced that it would build a treatment plant to save money, Citizens responded with a $10 million buyout.