Mayor Joe Hogsett says a comprehensive project to fix the city's roads would cost as much as $1 billion over a number of years. (Photo by Drew Daudelin)
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced his request for millions of dollars to address the city’s rampant pothole problem. Last year the city put $14 million into a rainy day fund – meant for emergencies – and the mayor wants to use all of it to repair and repave roads in Marion County.
The city says a series of sudden changes in temperature created a high volume of potholes this winter. But Hogsett says many of the city’s infrastructure problems are decades in the making and require more than a temporary fix.
“And that is why I have ordered the city to declare an emergency that will allow us to deploy road resurfacing contractors, not pothole patchers,” Hogsett says.
Newly funded resurfacing contractors would be able to permanently fix potholes, instead of temporarily fill them, something the city says they couldn't do during an unpredictable winter.
Hogsett says weather is expected to be dry on Sunday, and if that happens he says crews will start working the following day, assisted by private contractors.
The $14 million Hogsett is requesting would only be used in 2018, and would work in addition to the $88 million the city already marked for infrastructure projects this year.
The City-County Council still needs to approve the request, and Hogsett is asking councillors to introduce and approve the proposal on the same day, abandoning standard procedure, to allow the city to act quickly.
Council President Vop Osili says he supports the move, and will push for it to pass in the council's meeting on March 12.
Hogsett says a comprehensive project to fix the city's roads would cost as much as $1 billion over a number of years. He says he would not support a raise in taxes to support that effort. But he does say state legislators should have "authentic" conversations about how income taxes are distributed.