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CIB plans $5M repair to Capitol Commons plaza

August 14, 2012

The Capital Improvement Board of Marion County expects to spend $5 million next year to tear up the grass and landscaping on top of the subterranean Capitol Commons parking garage and replace a leaking membrane under it.

The project initially was planned for this year but has been delayed until 2013. The garage is along Capitol Avenue between the Indiana Convention Center and the Simon Property Group headquarters.

The membrane, installed 20 years ago, is worn out and leaking. Replacing it requires the removal of all the grass and dirt on the park-like plaza on top of the garage, and then reinstallation of the landscaping over a new membrane.

The CIB approved the Capitol Commons project Monday as part of its $63.9 million operating budget for 2013. That budget still must receive approval from the City-County Council.

The new budget is more than $13 million less than the 2012 budget because it doesn't include the $8 million the CIB spent this year to host the Super Bowl or the roughly $10 million it spent to help the Indiana Pacers. The CIB has given about $10 million each of the past three years to Pacers Sports & Entertainment to help cover operating costs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The CIB owns the Fieldhouse and leases it to the Pacers for $1 per year.

City and Pacers officials are in discussions about a longer-term lease agreement, which may pledge the CIB to pay more in subsidies to the professional basketball team in exchange for the Pacers' extending its lease agreement beyond 2019, when the current deal expires.

“There may be some activity by the board or the City-County Council in late 2012 or early 2013 to address this issue,” said Dan Huge, chief financial officer of the CIB, during the board's meeting.

Excluding the impact of the Super Bowl and Pacers expenses on this year's budget, the CIB’s spending plan is set to increase by $4.85 million in 2013. The board expects to see increases in insurance costs, supplies and maintenance costs at the Lucas Oil Stadium, which it also owns.

Much of the equipment at the 5-year-old football stadium will come off warranty next year, Huge said, requiring more spending by the CIB.

“We’ve now got a 5-year-old building to take care of,” Huge said.

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