IBJNews

City to bolster economic development funding

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Two groups critical to Indianapolis’ economic development efforts are poised to receive additional funding to help bring more conventions and businesses to the city.

Mayor Greg Ballard is expected to make the announcement regarding the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association and Indianapolis Economic Development Inc. at his State of the City address Wednesday evening.

Deputy Mayor Nick Weber declined to disclose how much the two organizations might receive in extra funds, pending approval from the City-County Council. But each amount is anticipated to be about $1 million.

The money for the two groups will come from a settlement the city reached with Illinois-based Navistar International Corp., which will pay back part of an abatement after failing to retain more than 1,800 jobs it had promised. The company, which had received $18 million in tax breaks during the past decade, announced early last year that it would close its east-side diesel engine plant.

IEDI operates on an annual budget of roughly $1.1 million, and President and CEO Scott Miller said the windfall from the city potentially could top that.

“We believe that as the economy continues to grow, Indianapolis has positioned itself very well,” he said. “We think these resources will allow us to help [create more jobs].”

The additional funding would enable the organization to better market the city to prospects, Miller said, as well as become more involved in redevelopment initiatives by making direct investments in properties—something IEDI has not done in the past.

ICVA’s promotional efforts also would receive a boost because the new funds would allow it to market city cultural destinations in more cities and hire four additional salespeople, said Don Welsh, the group’s president and CEO.

One of the new hires would be located in Washington, D.C., bringing the sales staff there to four. Walsh said it is important to have a presence in the nation’s capital, given that 13,000 national associations are headquartered in the area.

The ICVA also is revamping its Web site and will unveil the new version April 1.

The money comes at a crucial time for the ICVA, which for months had implored the Capital Improvement Board for more funding. The association is operating on a $13 million budget this year, of which the CIB funds about $9 million.

ICVA needs to attract more conventions to support the expansion of the Indiana Convention Center, the construction of the 1,600-room J.W. Marriott hotel and even additional space available in Lucas Oil Stadium, Welsh said. 

“We’re extremely grateful,” Welsh said. “There’s so many other pressing requests for these funds. This is a big, big commitment to support all of this new infrastructure.”

The State of the City address is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Tobias Theater at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Aaron is my fav!

  2. Let's see... $25M construction cost, they get $7.5M back from federal taxpayers, they're exempt from business property tax and use tax so that's about $2.5M PER YEAR they don't have to pay, permitting fees are cut in half for such projects, IPL will give them $4K under an incentive program, and under IPL's VFIT they'll be selling the power to IPL at 20 cents / kwh, nearly triple what a gas plant gets, about $6M / year for the 150-acre combined farms, and all of which is passed on to IPL customers. No jobs will be created either other than an handful of installers for a few weeks. Now here's the fun part...the panels (from CHINA) only cost about $5M on Alibaba, so where's the rest of the $25M going? Are they marking up the price to drive up the federal rebate? Indy Airport Solar Partners II LLC is owned by local firms Johnson-Melloh Solutions and Telemon Corp. They'll gross $6M / year in triple-rate power revenue, get another $12M next year from taxpayers for this new farm, on top of the $12M they got from taxpayers this year for the first farm, and have only laid out about $10-12M in materials plus installation labor for both farms combined, and $500K / year in annual land lease for both farms (est.). Over 15 years, that's over $70M net profit on a $12M investment, all from our wallets. What a boondoggle. It's time to wise up and give Thorium Energy your serious consideration. See http://energyfromthorium.com to learn more.

  3. Markus, I don't think a $2 Billion dollar surplus qualifies as saying we are out of money. Privatization does work. The government should only do what private industry can't or won't. What is proven is that any time the government tries to do something it costs more, comes in late and usually is lower quality.

  4. Some of the licenses that were added during Daniels' administration, such as requiring waiter/waitresses to be licensed to serve alcohol, are simply a way to generate revenue. At $35/server every 3 years, the state is generating millions of dollars on the backs of people who really need/want to work.

  5. I always giggle when I read comments from people complaining that a market is "too saturated" with one thing or another. What does that even mean? If someone is able to open and sustain a new business, whether you think there is room enough for them or not, more power to them. Personally, I love visiting as many of the new local breweries as possible. You do realize that most of these establishments include a dining component and therefore are pretty similar to restaurants, right? When was the last time I heard someone say "You know, I think we have too many locally owned restaurants"? Um, never...

ADVERTISEMENT