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Fed review finds Indiana highway land deals compliant

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A review published Wednesday found the prices that Indiana paid to buy land for the Interstate 69 extension and other federally funded highway projects met federal standards.

The Federal Highway Administration report found Indiana Department of Transportation records were adequate and sufficient to support prices paid to landowners and that the state records substantially complied with federal record-keeping guidelines.

In four cases, INDOT records were missing some documents that the agency eventually provided the review team comprised of FHA real estate staff based in Washington, D.C., Indiana, Georgia and Texas and members of INDOT's own real estate staff.

The review covered 50 land purchases over the last three years for projects that included the Interstate 69 extension to Evansville, the Hoosier Heartland Corridor in northern Indiana and the U.S. 31 expansion in Hamilton County north of Indianapolis.

The review began after The Indianapolis Star reported last year that INDOT had offered $7 million for 32 properties that appraisers had valued at $3.34 million.

INDOT already has taken steps to address issues identified during the review, the state agency said, "by supplementing parcel files with additional documentation, initiating an update of INDOT's Real Estate Manuals and planning to offer comprehensive right-of-way training for staff and consultants."

INDOT said in a news release that, "The report recommends that appraisers review any counter offers and additional written notices be provided to property owners."

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  1. If I were a developer I would be looking at the Fountain Square and Fletcher Place neighborhoods instead of Broad Ripple. I would avoid the dysfunctional BRVA with all of their headaches. It's like deciding between a Blackberry or an iPhone 5s smartphone. BR is greatly in need of updates. It has become stale and outdated. Whereas Fountain Square, Fletcher Place and Mass Ave have become the "new" Broad Ripples. Every time I see people on the strip in BR on the weekend I want to ask them, "How is it you are not familiar with Fountain Square or Mass Ave? You have choices and you choose BR?" Long vacant storefronts like the old Scholar's Inn Bake House and ZA, both on prominent corners, hurt the village's image. Many business on the strip could use updated facades. Cigarette butt covered sidewalks and graffiti covered walls don't help either. The whole strip just looks like it needs to be power washed. I know there is more to the BRV than the 700-1100 blocks of Broad Ripple Ave, but that is what people see when they think of BR. It will always be a nice place live, but is quickly becoming a not-so-nice place to visit.

  2. I sure hope so and would gladly join a law suit against them. They flat out rob people and their little punk scam artist telephone losers actually enjoy it. I would love to run into one of them some day!!

  3. Biggest scam ever!! Took 307 out of my bank ac count. Never received a single call! They prey on new small business and flat out rob them! Do not sign up with these thieves. I filed a complaint with the ftc. I suggest doing the same ic they robbed you too.

  4. Woohoo! We're #200!!! Absolutely disgusting. Bring on the congestion. Indianapolis NEEDS it.

  5. So Westfield invested about $30M in developing Grand Park and attendance to date is good enough that local hotel can't meet the demand. Carmel invested $180M in the Palladium - which generates zero hotel demand for its casino acts. Which Mayor made the better decision?

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