New, budgeted plan aims to improve Indianapolis’ infrastructure

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INDIANAPOLIS – Wednesday afternoon, members of the city-county Democratic Party announced their own budgeted plan to improve our infrastructure.

The program is called ‘Fix Our Neighborhoods Now!’ Their plan states that for the next four years, they would spend $340 million toward this initiative. According to the plan, the investment would be divided among every district. Every district would receive $12 million between 2014-2017 for work that includes things like improvements on our bridges, sidewalks, parks, and roads.

“As you can see, this plan is not business as usual. It is a new way of ensuring that pet projects like the one we see behind us here are placed (as) high priority projects that are identified by residents in each area of our community. It is a way of doing business that is cricket proof and it saves money,”Council Member at-Large Zach Adamson said.

Council President Maggie Lewis said the ‘Fix Our Neighborhoods Now!’ program is not a democratic plan. The plan would pull money from the following resources: Wheel and Gas taxes ($66.9 million), Water Utility Sale proceeds ($40 million), Cumulative Funds ($19.2 million), bond issue – 20 years ($70 million), Consolidated Downtown TIF ($45 million), and Federal match programs ($100 million).

“At the end of the day, I believe it’s important that we have a plan that’s fair that there’s some transparency,” Lewis said.

Meanwhile, Mayor Ballard had already introduced a revised Rebuild Indy 2 plan. The revised plan is supposed to be heard in front of the council in 5 days. Mayor Ballard also promises that his plan is fiscally responsible.

“We’ve been waiting for years -for nearly a year now- for the council to move on a plan to address our neighborhoods. It took them over 6 months to come up with a plan to repair potholes and storm damage, so we’ve been waiting on them to join us in this discussion for quite a long time now,” Communications Director for Mayor Greg Ballard, Marc Lotter, said.

As of late Wednesday morning, Mayor Ballard had not reviewed the democratic plan. The Rebuild Indy 2 plan would use $300 million for these improvements with a $105 million bond. Both sides expressed that they hoped to agree on a plan that would be satisfactory to everyone.

“I don’t know why they’ve been holding it up for so long. Now, I am glad that they feel the pressure to do something about it so we’ll see what they say,” Mayor Ballard said.