NewsPublic AffairsPolitics / June 18, 2014

Council Democrats Offer Counter to Rebuild Indy 2

Sam Klemet
Council Democrats Offer Counter to Rebuild Indy 2

Earlier this month, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard announced a revised plan to pay for infrastructure repairs throughout the city.

His Rebuild Indy 2 proposal calls for investing $300 million on projects including streets, sidewalks and greenways.

Ballard wants to borrow $105 million to pay for it. Council Democrats say that is too much, and Wednesday offered their own plan.

The plan is $40 million more than Ballard’s, but calls for borrowing about $35 million less.

Council President Maggie Lewis says the Democratic proposal relies more on federal grants and funds from the gas and wheel taxes.

"I believe it is more fiscally responsible and really tapping into the dollars that we have currently," she said.  "I imagine it is going to be somewhat controversial, but we believe that we should be able to tap into those existing TIF (tax increment financing) dollars, as well."

Lewis says the Democrat’s plan will save the city $16 million in interest payments compared to the mayor’s.

Ballard’s proposal is scheduled to be introduced to the full council, Monday.   His does not include using TIF funds.

Lewis believes ultimately both sides will find some middle ground.

"We all agree that we have to do something bigger and really address the infrastructure repairs that are needed in the community," she said.  "We believe that we are close and will meet in the middle and pass something."