City Nearly $900,000 Behind On Sewer Bill

Water Company: Beech Grove Hasn't Paid Since 2001

A political feud is brewing in Beech Grove over the city's unpaid sewer bill of nearly $900,000.

Beech Grove bills its residents and business for water, sewer and garbage pickup each month, and is supposed to then pay Indianapolis Water and the Indianapolis Department of Public Works, which provide the services, 6News' Tanya Spencer reported.

But DPW officials told 6News that the city hasn't paid since 2001, and that its September bill is $898,997.

Beech Grove Democrats called a new conference on Thursday, challenging Republican Mayor Joe Wright to explain the late payment.

"That bill is close to $1 million that we haven't paid since 2001," said Councilor Bud Templin. "It's one bill we found out about. How many other bills are out there?"

Democrats claim the mayor's spending is out of control, while he has cut essential services, like the recent outsourcing of the city's paramedics and 911 center.

"Where did all this money go?" asked Ed Bell, a retired fire chief who is running for mayor. "If it was to pay the sewers and improve the sewers, this money has been blown."

Attempts by 6News to reach Wright for comment on Thursday were unsuccessful. Staff members said he would be issuing a statement addressing the mater, but no document had been received Thursday evening.

A representative with DPW said the agency is negotiating with Beech Grove over what the city claims are billing errors, and that the real amount owed may be closer to $700,000.