June 8, 2015

City-County Council Declines To Approve New Criminal Justice Center

WMB Heartland Justice Partners

WMB Heartland Justice Partners

INDIANAPOLIS -- A new criminal justice center for Marion County has been banished to the next mayoral administration, as city-county councilors declined to bring the proposal before them up for a vote.

Republican councilor Robert Lutz called for a procedural move last night to vote on the nearly $1.75 billion  plan to consolidate Marion County’s jails and courts on the site of the old GM stamping plant west of downtown.

But Democrats didn’t support the measure and it failed,13-16. That means the proposal will never be formally voted on.

What once seemed like a sure deal fell off the rails because of concerns about the actual cost of complex. The developer tried to scale down the project last week, but it was too little, too late.

Democratic councilors seemed content bucking the task to the next mayoral administration. That could mean starting from scratch.

A spokeswoman for the mayor’s office accused councilors of an “unwillingness to think beyond their next political move.”

The city is now on the hook for millions of dollars in fees and bills for the two year process, with nothing to show.

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