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Green year for city hall, businesses

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On The Beat Industry News In Brief

It’s been a year since Republican Mayor Greg Ballard launched the City’s Office of Sustainability. Actually the groundwork had been laid by his Democratic predecessor, Bart Peterson, but Ballard saw value to taxpayers in many elements of sustainability, such as energy savings and reduced pollution.

On Oct. 6, Ballard and his sustainability director, Karen Haley, outlined accomplishments in the first year. Highlights include the purchase of 89 hybrid electric vehicles for the city’s fleet, an additional 14 miles of on-street bike lanes, and 17 walk-up recycling bins.

They also noted that many firms and schools made extensive energy improvements, and that six had achieved so-called LEED certification, including LEED “gold” ratings at the headquarters of developer Shiel Sexton, environmental consulting firm August Mack and the not-for-profit Keep Indianapolis Beautiful.

The 47-year-old City-County Building could cost $700,000 a year less to operate, under options explored by city’s sustainability program. (IBJ File Photo)

The city also launched a major sustainability project for its flagship building—the City-County Building. Teaming with the Rocky Mountain Institute this summer, officials identified $678,500 a year in potential savings—principally through reduced electricity use. Recommendations include the installation of sensors that automatically turn off lights when nobody is in a room, use of LED lighting, and installation of lighting shafts to help illuminate the building’s underground parking garage. How to pay for those improvements is still being worked out.

The first annual report did not provide a detailed cost-benefit analysis of improvements made so far.

 

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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 It has become stale and outdated.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.

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  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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