$20 million for justice campus design and planning up for council committee vote

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Another hurdle to clear for Mayor Joe Hogsett’s justice campus proposal.

Tomorrow, a city-county council committee will hear reasons why they should or shouldn’t approve $20 million to design and plan the complex.

Last time the city went through this process, mayor Greg Ballard’s administration committed about $15 million to the planning phase on their proposed justice center.

It was never built.

Before spending even more money this time around, the Administration and Finance committee chairman Joseph Simpson says he’s insisting they be much more careful.

“We have to make sure we have the money to finance this through a bond,” said Simpson. “That was a problem we had with the last justice center. They waited too late, they brought it in, nobody knew where the numbers came from and all that.”

Simpson already approved spending $2 million on an independent analyst, to verify the city’s number crunching and claim that the campus will save money.

“I as a councilman, and all of us who are on the council, will take this very seriously because you’re talking about spending close to $600 million,” said Simpson. “That’s a lot of money.”

Also taking a stand at the meeting will be the “No New Jail Coalition”. They’re protesting any steps that would move this project further.

The hearing and possible vote is Tuesday night at 5:30 in Room 260 of the city-county building.