A cleaner Canal

October 3, 2007
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Downtown CanalThe city has agreed to pay a Kokomo company up to $423,000 to clean the Central Canal from 11th Street to the White River. The deal with biosolids management firm Merrell Bros. calls for the removal of "sediment, debris, flora and organics" from the downtown waterway. The Metropolitan Development Commission is scheduled to vote on the deal today. The contract calls for work to be complete by Feb. 28, 2008. By then, Buggs Temple may even be open for business. Then again, we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves.
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  • HaHa, what a joke that Buggs Temple is! However, instead of simply cleaning up they should add more fountains! It's really not rocket science lads.
  • Perhaps George Bush will find a brain and then Buggs Temple will open.
  • I agree about the fountains. It's amazing how a little movement in the water can cut down on gunk buildup.
  • While they're at it, perhaps the City could clean up the lift stations about the City - the stench from the sewers is unbearable ! What an archaic system - if the City truly wants to get into the 21st Century with development, fix the infrastructure first !
  • A little late.

    You would think that the city would already have a continual maintenance program to keep the muck out and control mosquito breeding in the downtown canal.

    I agree that additional fountains would help stem the growth of the muck, but they should have already had scheduled cleaning, chemical treatments, and trash removal for one of the cities most high profile cultural areas
  • What's going on with Buggs Temple?
  • Mick:

    The City IS cleaning up the lift stations around the County. Since 2000, the City has been working aggressively to upgrade sewer and treatment infrastructure to eliminate approx. 97% of all raw sewage overflows by the year 2015. The City expects to spend approx. $400 million dollars between 2006 and 2008 to alleviate the worst overflow points (mostly along Fall Creek and Pogues Run) and to upgrade the City's two biggest wastewater treatment facilities: Belmont and Southport.

    Substantial progress has been made and several hundred million more dollars of mostly local, but also state and federal, money has already been earmarked for future projects. For more information, visit www.indycleanstreams.org

    People complain all day about taxes without realizing that a lot of their property tax bill goes towards making sure their water is clean and their creeks don't smell (literally) like you know what.

    As far as the canal goes, more fountains would not do the trick for a number of reasons. First of all, it is aesthetically displeasing to have so many fountains. Secondly, it is cost prohibitive to tear up the concrete bed to install and maintain new fountains. Third, there is far more than just algae in the canal; we have all sorts of trash and chemical run-off (from pesticides and construction projects nearby). Fourth, the above posters correctly point out that a little bit of movement can limit gunk buildup. A little bit of moving water did cut down on gunk buildup but the gunk grows from the bottom up; the surface gunk goes all the way to the bottom of the canal and more moving water, after 10 years of no thorough cleaning, will not do a thing. Lastly, the canal needs to be drained in order to check for (and repair if necessary) any structural damage that may have occured over the last winters or so.
  • Jim - please, no more shots at President Bush in a manner that has no relevancy to the topic. Remember Jimmy Carter, but I still call him President.
  • Um...although it does need cleaning, I really hope they don't kill the plants and fish that live in there. They really add to the Canal.
  • Fred:

    I agree but you know how anti-tax (no matter what it's for) and anti-change the citizens of Indianapolis can be. We can't even get the City fully consolidated (which will save money), let alone raise taxes to improve cultural institutions and public spaces.

    Good gravy, how can you convince the reactionary populace of Indy to spend more on the arts and culture when they won't even accept marginally higher taxes to cover the basics: education, infrastructure, fire, and police?

    I'm just glad the Canal is finally being cleaned, properly.
  • Thank god they're finally cleaning it. At one point the city was considering a long-term fix by commissioning a piece of equipment that would scrub the bottom of the canal. Apparently these devices already exist but are too harsh in their operation for a concrete-bottomed canal, so they had to special order one for our canal. Unfortunately, that option is pretty expensive so it never panned out.

    At least they're doing something to clean it up. Last summer, they used people sentenced to community service to at least clean up some of the surface algae and garbage. This summer, I haven't seen any of that and it's gotten completely out-of-hand.

    As for Buggs Temple, Feed Me/Drink Me is reporting a POSSIBLE opening in mid-Oct. I still wouldn't bet on it:

    http://feedmedrinkme.blogspot.com/2007/09/hey-can-you-keep-noise-down-little-we.html
  • Regardless of how they clean it or how the maintain it, I walked along the canal during the Indy Tennis Tournament this summer. It was not as pleasant an experience as I'd hope it would be, mostly because of how dirty it was.

    A total aside with respect to Buggs Temple. I wouldn't count on Ritter's being there long. I think that company is VERY slowly on its way out. I worked as a manger for them for YEARS and even know John and Bonnie Ritter personally. The quality of the product has gotten shaky because the company is too big now, and the competition (e.g. Culver's and Cold Stone) are too hard to compete with :-/ Sad because I always loved Ritter's...
  • Someone said that too many fountains would be aestically unpleasing well i actually find them quite the contrary! :)
  • A rolling stone doesn't gather any moss. On the same note, A moving body of water does keep the section low on pests (moscitos ) as well as keeps the gunk down.
  • Thank you, berwickguy!
  • Has there ever been mention of cleaning the canal without using toxic chemicals? I would assume the City has researched environmentally-friendly alternatives to chemical treatments.
  • The cost-effective solution has been staring us in the face for a long time. What does one do when his/her aquzrium gets mucked up with sea yuck? Bottom-feeding sucker fish! Those fish will clean a tank in short order. Why not simply stock the canal with a number of these? Good bet says that would be the most efficeint solution. Anybody have a view on this (that is, anybody NOT from Merrell!)?
  • Do you know that Buggs Temple opened on October 3rd? Everytime I call to get a reservation they are packed...especially during lunch. I heard that they have a great Chef from Pucks at IMA. Give it a chance.

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  1. Apologies for the wall of text. I promise I had this nicely formatted in paragraphs in Notepad before pasting here.

  2. I believe that is incorrect Sir, the people's tax-dollars are NOT paying for the companies investment. Without the tax-break the company would be paying an ADDITIONAL $11.1 million in taxes ON TOP of their $22.5 Million investment (Building + IT), for a total of $33.6M or a 50% tax rate. Also, the article does not specify what the total taxes were BEFORE the break. Usually such a corporate tax-break is a 'discount' not a 100% wavier of tax obligations. For sake of example lets say the original taxes added up to $30M over 10 years. $12.5M, New Building $10.0M, IT infrastructure $30.0M, Total Taxes (Example Number) == $52.5M ININ's Cost - $1.8M /10 years, Tax Break (Building) - $0.75M /10 years, Tax Break (IT Infrastructure) - $8.6M /2 years, Tax Breaks (against Hiring Commitment: 430 new jobs /2 years) == 11.5M Possible tax breaks. ININ TOTAL COST: $41M Even if you assume a 100% break, change the '30.0M' to '11.5M' and you can see the Company will be paying a minimum of $22.5, out-of-pocket for their capital-investment - NOT the tax-payers. Also note, much of this money is being spent locally in Indiana and it is creating 430 jobs in your city. I admit I'm a little unclear which tax-breaks are allocated to exactly which expenses. Clearly this is all oversimplified but I think we have both made our points! :) Sorry for the long post.

  3. Clearly, there is a lack of a basic understanding of economics. It is not up to the company to decide what to pay its workers. If companies were able to decide how much to pay their workers then why wouldn't they pay everyone minimum wage? Why choose to pay $10 or $14 when they could pay $7? The answer is that companies DO NOT decide how much to pay workers. It is the market that dictates what a worker is worth and how much they should get paid. If Lowe's chooses to pay a call center worker $7 an hour it will not be able to hire anyone for the job, because all those people will work for someone else paying the market rate of $10-$14 an hour. This forces Lowes to pay its workers that much. Not because it wants to pay them that much out of the goodness of their heart, but because it has to pay them that much in order to stay competitive and attract good workers.

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  5. It is sad to see these races not have a full attendance. The Indy Car races are so much more exciting than Nascar. It seems to me the commenters here are still a little upset with Tony George from a move he made 20 years ago. It was his decision to make, not yours. He lost his position over it. But I believe the problem in all pro sports is the escalating price of admission. In todays economy, people have to pay much more for food and gas. The average fan cannot attend many events anymore. It's gotten priced out of most peoples budgets.

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