INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett (D) is laying out a lofty set of goals for the city in the coming months, all part of his State of the City address.
The mayor highlighted achievements during the past year, including major business investments in the city, neighborhood improvements, and projects to get teens employed.
But the mayor said there’s still work to do, especially when it comes to cutting down crime and tackling one of the biggest problems that affects everyone – the city’s crumbling streets.
“So beginning tonight, the era of ignoring our roads and streets is over,” said Hogsett. “I am announcing a multi-year-plan to reequip the city’s long underfunded street maintenance division.”
Under the plan, about 36 new DPW workers would be hired. Their only job would be to maintain roads. The plan also calls for investments in new, heavy equipment.
“Effective tomorrow, construction season will open in the city of Indianapolis, with eighty-eight million in additional dollars hitting the streets to resurface and repair our roads and bridges,” said Hogsett.
DPW officials said the plan allows them to fix roads every day of the year, instead of playing whack-a-mole when potholes pop up.
“This is going to take some time to build up, but we believe it’s the right thing to do,” said DPW Director Dan Parker, “to rebuild street maintenance.”
Hogsett is confident his plan will come at no new cost to taxpayers.
“I believe these investments will be made without requiring any new taxes or cutting of any other government services,” said Hogsett.
But following the speech, Republicans said the plan will ultimately be measured by whether it’s successful.
“Really the detail of what happens with this aggressive speech tonight is imperative,” said State Senator Jim Merritt, (R), who also serves at the Marion County GOP chairman. “It’s hard to grade on something like that because you can say a lot, [but] let’s do. And we’ll know in the coming months and the coming years.”
The mayor said he’ll present his plan to the City-County Council for approval within the next 60 days.
Mayor Hogsett dropped by FOX59 Morning News to discuss the speech: