Boone County Water Resources
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A draft copy of a Boone County Municipal Water Agency Feasibility Study has been prepared for the Boone County Interlocal Water Study Committee. The Interlocal Water Study Committee is comprised of representatives from the Town of Advance, Boone County, Citizens Energy Group, the Town of Jamestown, the City of Lebanon, the Town of Thorntown, the Town of Whitestown, and the Town of Zionsville. Please send an E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to receive a PDF copy of the Feasibility Study via return E-mail. (NOTE: From at least October 22 until the afternoon of October 30 you could access the Feasibility Study online at https://bfsengr.sharefile.com/download.aspx?id=sf14b956b677402a8 - Butler, Fairman & Seufert removed the Feasibility Study from their website without explanation.)
The following (in italics) is the Executive Summary for the Feasibility Study:
The goal of this Study is to develop and evaluate long-term water supply strategies for Boone County. These long-term strategies shall address customer supply needs, protect water quality, provide for the development of water resource partnerships, and improve the reliability of the County's water systems. The evaluation is being performed for an lnterlocal Water Study Committee comprised of the following stakeholders: the Town of Advance, Boone County, Citizens Energy Group, the Town of Jamestown, the City of Lebanon, the Town of Thorntown, the Town of Whitestown, and the Town of Zionsville.
The members comprising the lnterlocal Water Study Committee currently have a water supply capacity of approximately 18.36 MGD, which is adequate to handle their current peak demand of 13.84 MGD. However, peak demands projected for 10 and 20 years out indicate that the County will have water shortages if the current water supply capacity is not increased. The projected 20-year demands are approximately 10 MGD larger than the current water supply capacity. Three possible solutions for satisfying the future 10 MGD water need were identified and evaluated; surface water supply, groundwater supply, and wholesale water supply.
Surface water supply in Boone County was previously studied for the City of Lebanon by Greeley and Hansen in 2009 and it was determined that while providing property value and recreation benefits, the up-front capital costs for implementing a surface water supply, such as a reservoir created by a dam, would be too great; possibly in the $75 million to $125 million range.
A groundwater supply source that could provide 10 MGD is not readily available in Boone County and in order to implement groundwater supply, a source needs to be found outside of the County's limits. The Teays Bedrock Valley, in the vicinity of the Lafayette and West Lafayette area, appears to be the closest groundwater supply source that has sufficient yield to produce the water needed. The groundwater supply requires preliminary costs associated with environmental studies, aquifer and water quality testing; drilling wells, installation of pumps, and the construction of well houses; the construction of a water treatment plant; and a water transmission main and ground storage tanks. The costs of implementing a new wellfield wouldbe approximately $40 million to $50 million with annual operations and maintenance costs of around $400,000 to $500,000.
Wholesale water can be provided by Citizens Energy Group. Future growth needs for Zionsville, estimated as a 4.6 MGD increase for the 20-year peak demand, have already been incorporated into capital planning for the Citizens Water System as a whole and the Towns of Advance, Jamestown, and Thorntown, are all expecting only marginal future growth in demands which can still be handled via their respective present groundwater sources. This results in a wholesale supply need from Citizens Energy Group as approximately 6 MGD for the City of Lebanon and the Town of Whitestown. Two Alternatives were identified to extend a 20-inch water main to the Lebanon and Whitestown area, with the lowest cost being toextend the water main along Indianapolis Road from the vicinity of State Road 334 and Whitestown parkway. The cost associated with the investments needed for Citizens Energy Group to provide wholesale water is in the $25 million to $36 million range.
The most cost effective and practical 10 MGD future water source for Boone County in the future appears to be provided by from Citizens Energy Group. The wholesale supply need from Citizens Energy Group is approximately 6 MGD for the City of Lebanon and the Town of Whitestown. Lebanon and Whitestown will need to determine how to allocate the costs of implementing the investments needed for Citizens to provide the wholesale water. Zionsville's future water need of 4.6 MGD will be provided by Citizens Energy Group through the current customer arrangement for the Citizens Zionsville Service Area. A financial advisor and grant administrator should be consulted to determine proper funding alternatives.
Watchdog Indiana has begun an analysis to determine if the recommendations in the Feasibility Study are good public policy. Good public policy is results-oriented, compassionate, and fiscally responsible. Please send an E-mail to email@example.com if you wish to help analyze the Feasibility Study. The initial analysis results are listed next.
Boone County municipalities currently have a cumulative water supply capacity of about 18.36 million gallons per day (MGD), which is adequate to handle their current peak demand of 13.84 MGD.
The projected Boone County cumulative municipal peak demand twenty years from now is about 10 MGD (or 54%) more than the current cumulative water supply capacity of about 18.36 MGD. It is anticipated that the expected marginal future growth in Advance, Jamestown, and Thorntown will be accommodated by their respective present groundwater sources. The peak demand for Zionsville twenty years from now will be about 4.6 MGD more than the current water supply, but this 20-year peak demand is already incorporated into the capital planning for the Citizens Water System as a whole. Lebanon and Whitestown have no plans in place to meet their combined 20-year peak demand that will be about 6 MGD more than their current water supply.
It appears that two solutions to the anticipated Lebanon and Whitestown water supply shortfall are considered too expensive to be reasonably considered. A reservoir created by a dam would cost $75 million to $125 million. Since additional groundwater supply sources that could provide 6 MGD are not “readily available” in Boone County, it would cost $40 million to $50 million for a new wellfield at the closest groundwater supply source outside Boone County (the Teays Bedrock Valley in the vicinity of Lafayette).
The most “cost effective and practical” 6 MGD future water source identified for Lebanon and Whitestown is a wholesale supply from Citizens Energy Group. Extending a 20-inch water main along Indianapolis Road from the vicinity of State Road 334 and Whitestown Parkway would cost $25 million to $36 million. The Executive Summary suggests Lebanon and Whitestown will “need to determine how to allocate the costs of implementing the investments” needed for Citizens Energy Group to provide the wholesale water – what this means is that Lebanon and Whitestown would decide how much more to charge their water utility ratepayers to subsidize commercial developers. Also, allocating all the remaining unused Boone County water supply and about 10 MGD from Citizens Energy Group to future commercial development would likely leave little water available for irrigation that might be needed 20 years from now to maximize farm production.
The best solution to avoid excessive Lebanon and Whitestown water utility ratepayer increases and reserve some water for farm irrigation is to have commercial developers pay for their own water supplies.If developers pay their own way instead of having their profits subsidized by water utility ratepayers, commercial development will occur in an orderly manner that properly makes use of our finite water resources.
TheFeasibility Study reveals disturbing information about the annexation plans of Lebanon and Whitestown.
The following service areas maps are included in the Feasibility Study for the six Boone County municipal water agencies (Town of Advance, Jamestown Utilities, Lebanon Utilities, Thorntown Utilities, Whitestown Utilities, the Citizens Energy Group service area in Zionsville): Figure 1 on PDF Page 14 is the map of the current service areas, Figure 3 on PDF Page 18 is the map of the projected 10-year service areas (in 2023), Figure 4 on PDF Page 20 is the map of the projected 20-year service areas (in 2033). There is no growth anticipated the next 20 years in the size of the service areas for Advance, Jamestown, Thorntown, and Zionsville. Whitestown and Lebanon plan to aggressively increase the size of their water utility service areas. The only way for Lebanon and Whitestown to increase their service areas is through annexation. The projected service area maps show how Lebanon and Whitestown have divvied up their annexation targets through 2033.
Lebanon wants to annex north to CR 450 N, CR 375 N, and Elizaville Road; south to CR 200 S and CR 400 S; east to CR 300 E and CR 400 E; and west to CR 350 W, CR 250 W, and CR 300 W. Whitestown would like to extend its boundaries from SR 32; south along CR 700 E and CR 650 E to the Hendricks County line; west along the Hendricks County line to SR 39; north up SR 39 to CR 400 S; east along CR 400 S to CR 400 E; and north up CR 400 E to SR 32.
Our Boone County rural quality of life would be threatened because many thousands of farmland acres would be gobbled up by Whitestown and Lebanon in their never-ending quests to subsidize speculative and costly commercial and industrial development.Our Boone County Comprehensive Plan identifies multiple existing locations for development the next 20 years without additional involuntary annexations by Lebanon and Whitestown.
We can protect ourselves and our farmland by insisting that our General Assembly change the Indiana Code to thwart illogical and predatory municipal annexations: see http://www.finplaneducation.net/rational_municipal_annexations.htm. More importantly, we must identify and support new Lebanon and Whitestown elected officials in 2015 who will respect our Boone County Comprehensive Plan and preserve our rural quality of life – or convince our current elected officials to change their aggressive annexation ways if they want to get reelected.Watchdog Indiana Home Page Watchdog Lebanon Home Page
This page was last updated on 01/30/14 .