Mayor Stephen Goldsmith

  • Population: 752,000
  • Service Area Population: 640,000

For additional information, contact: Mark Maxwell Chief Contract Compliance Officer City of Indianapolis, Department of Public Works 1735 S. West Street Indianapolis, IN 46221 (317) 327-5654 FAX (317) 327-2984


In 1994, the City of Indianapolis entered into a five year contract with the White River Environmental Partnership (WREP) for the operation and maintenance of the City's two advanced wastewater treatment plants. The City's objectives in exploring contract management of the two facilities were to maintain the high level of treatment achieved by the plants, reduce operating costs, improve operational reliability and access advanced national and international technology. At the same time, the City was concerned that the current City employees would be treated fairly. After two years of operation under the contract with WREP, the City's goals have been met. The plants won awards in 1994 and 1995 for outstanding operations (based on continued performance in meeting permit parameters). The number of effluent violations has been reduced by more than 50 percent. The frequency of combined sewer overflow discharges has been reduced by over 50 percent. Preventative and predictive maintenance programs have increased the reliability of the facilities. Studies completed by WREP have assisted the City in reprioritization and scheduling long term capital improvement projects for the plants.


Over the five year term of the agreement, Indianapolis is projected to save $65 million. Through the end of the second year (January, 1996) the City has realized savings of $22.6 million in operations and maintenance costs. Utility costs are down 20 percent; corrective maintenance costs are down 30 percent; unanticipated capital expenditures are down 20 percent. The City received $57,000 in energy rebates in recognition of energy efficient motor designed and installed by WREP. Purchases from minority and or women owned businesses were 22.7 percent in 1995 (compared to the 12 percent target level in the contract).


Of an original operations staff of 328, the plants are now operated by 168 employees. AFSCME continues to represent plant workers. WREP and the union enjoy a strong cooperative relationship. Workers not hired by WREP or placed in other City positions received various types of assistance and all who sought new employment found comparable jobs within an eight month period. The existing workforce receives higher salaries, better benefits and more training than under City management. Grievances decreased from 38 annually under City management to one in 1994 and zero in 1995. The accident rate has decreased 80 percent over two years, resulting in a 91 percent reduction in lost work days. Worker's compensation insurance rates have been reduced 8 percent due to increased plant safety performance.

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone (202) 293-7330, FAX (202) 293-2352

Copyright 1996-97, U.S. Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.