A measure taking aim at IndyGo finances gets new life at the Indiana Statehouse. A new amendment to a bill seeks to have the bus company pay for utility work.
Another bill that would have changed how the bus system covers costs died in the House last week.
Now, Republican Sen. Aaron Freeman (Indianapolis) has added new language to a House utility bill.
Debating on the Senate floor this week, he said the amendment comes after hearing that companies had to pay about $8 million to relocate utilities during construction of the Red Line.
“I tucked that away and thought, boy we really need to do something about that,” Freeman said.
It’s not unusual for utilities to pay the cost of relocation for approved public projects. Democrat Sen. Greg Taylor (Indianapolis) said if IndyGo is forced to pay for the costs, the debt burden could end up back on the taxpayers.
“They are going to pick up the costs of this infrastructure that you want them to pay for,” Taylor said.
Marion County voters approved IndyGo improvements in a 2016 referendum. It’s unclear what the amendment could mean for the planned Blue and Purple lines.
Freeman has been especially outspoken about wanting changes to the Blue Line.
The House will now consider the amended bill.