Payment deal will prevent 132 homes from losing water

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Hundreds of residents on the northwest side of Indianapolis will not lose water next Monday, thanks to an arrangement between their neighborhood association and Citizens Energy Group.

But, it will cost each resident hundreds of dollars to keep the water turned on.

On Monday, Citizens delivered disconnect notices to about 130 homes in the Arbor Village subdivision, located near West 52nd Street and Georgetown Road. The pink slips said the water was due to be disconnected September 29th. The notice meant the entire neighborhood.

“We were told if they turn off the water, the board of health will give us three days to leave the property,” said Arbor Village resident Terry Williams. “They will shut this place down.”

The notices resulted from delinquent payments to Citizens Energy for the neighborhood’s water bill. The subdivision is built so that all 132 homes are on a single meter. Arbor Village’s association, Association Management Inc, pays the total bill using fees from residents. Each home pays a $125 assessment, which covers water, lawn care, street lighting, snow removal and administrative fees.

According to Arbor Village’s attorney, Steve Ehrnhardt, too many residents have been defaulting on their monthly fees.

“The understanding that has been shown to Arbor Village by Citizens so far has been stellar,” Ehrnhardt told Fox59. “This has been an ongoing issue for several years.”

It is estimated that Arbor Village owes roughly $60,000 in delinquent water bills to Citizens Energy. The utility says they have given several warnings over the last several months.

Now, Arbor Village is asking each household to pay a $500 Special Assessment to go toward the outstanding bill. Residents with outstanding balances are also being asked to resolve them.

“It all depends on how much money is raised by this special assessment,” Ehrnhardt said.

While the arrangement will keep the water turned on for now, it doesn’t sit well with Arbor Village residents who say they’ve never missed a monthly payment.

“They should go after them and not come after the ones that take care of their responsibilities every month,” said resident Wanda Harlan.