July 5, 2024

District to help downtown Indy cleanliness and safety goes before council for second time

The EED was originally introduced and approved by the council last year. It would provide about $5.5 million a year to support new safety technology, added police support, cleaning crews, homeless outreach workers and the city’s first low-barrier shelter. - File Photo: WFYI

The EED was originally introduced and approved by the council last year. It would provide about $5.5 million a year to support new safety technology, added police support, cleaning crews, homeless outreach workers and the city’s first low-barrier shelter.

File Photo: WFYI

A new proposal for a downtown Economic Enhancement District will be introduced to the Indianapolis City County Council again. Changes to the district came after some Indiana lawmakers attempted to stop a measure that created an EED or economic enhancement district.

The district allows a fee to be charged to certain property owners in a certain area to support public safety, homelessness and beautification efforts.

Originally set for the Mile Square, the statehouse bill changed the parameters and does not require apartment owners or single family homeowners to pay in. It also makes changes to a local/state board in charge of the district.

Indy Chamber Chief Strategy Officer Taylor Hughes said the EED still retains its purpose and the move is a long time coming.

“This is the end of a 30 year conversation asking the question ‘How do we create dedicated resources to devote to quality of life in the heart of the capital city’

The EED was originally introduced and approved by the council last year. It would provide about $5.5 million a year to support new safety technology, added police support, cleaning crews, homeless outreach workers and the city’s first low-barrier shelter.

Some apartment owners supported the repeal of the measure this year at the statehouse. Many business owners testified in support of the EED as Indianapolis hosts a busy tourism year.

Hugues said ultimately lawmakers came to an agreement that saved the district.

“About the second half of the session we've heard a lot from legislators and elected officials and counselors who are committed to doing something,” he said, “we just needed to figure out what the right path forward was and we found it and we're excited.”

The Metropolitan and Economic Development Committee will hear public input at a meeting July 15.

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