City Government

Access counselor doubts city's need for secrecy on RFP

September 26, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
Indiana Public Access Counselor Luke Britt told the city of Indianapolis that he wasn't swayed by its reasons for withholding its request for proposals for a new $500 million criminal justice complex.
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Council Dems say they're pushing preschool debate into 2016

September 23, 2014
Hayleigh Colombo, Chalkbeat Indiana
City-County Council President Maggie Lewis and Vice President John Barth said children could be served next year by the state’s much smaller pilot program, which will reach nearly 800 economically disadvantaged four-year-olds in Marion County.
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Former GIPC leader gets 2 years of home detention

September 19, 2014
Jeff Newman
The former executive director of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee was sentenced to two years of home detention Friday after pleading guilty to four counts of forgery. The plea agreement was approved after Matthew Hendrix turned over a restitution check for $126,356.
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Dems block funding for preschool plan as meeting erupts

September 16, 2014
 Chalkbeat Indiana
The Indianapolis City-County Council’s finance committee voted to table funding for Mayor Greg Ballard’s $50 million preschool expansion plan and quickly adjourned a three-hour meeting Tuesday night despite protests.
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Melangton leaving Sports Corp. for IMS

September 12, 2014
Greg Andrews, Jeff Newman, Anthony Schoettle
Allison Melangton plans to step down as Indiana Sports Corp. president and will become senior vice president of events with Hulman & Co., parent of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Ryan Vaughn, chief of staff to Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, will succeed Melangton.
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Lilly execs make pitch for local preschool education

September 12, 2014
Jared Council
Eli Lilly and Co. executives on Friday repeated their plea to local businesses to support early childhood education, highlighting the work force development and crime-reduction benefits associated with the effort.
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Democrats raise doubts about Ballard’s preschool plan

September 11, 2014
Hayleigh Colombo, Chalkbeat indiana
Funding concerns involving the homestead credit have prompted work on an alternative plan that Democrats expect to unveil soon.
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Indianapolis council OKs public safety tax hike

September 8, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
In a 19-10 bipartisan vote, the Indianapolis City-County Council approved a hike in the public-safety income tax. The 43-percent increase will bring the total local income tax rate to 1.77 percent.
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Lowe's seeks $500K tax break from city on customer center

September 3, 2014
Mason King
The home-improvement retail giant plans to hire 1,000 workers for the center at Intech Park on the northwest side. The jobs would pay an average hourly wage of about $16.
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Infighting bogs down digital billboards

August 30, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
Marion County is an untapped market for digital billboards despite years of lobbying by sign companies, and it’s not because of political opposition to the large, lighted signs. What’s holding back changes to the city code is industry feuding over the form of regulations that could determine their future market share.
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City Dems tap replacement for departed councilor Brown

August 29, 2014
 IBJ Staff
LaKeisha Jackson was chosen to replace Vernon Brown in District 18. Brown stepped down in August after 11 years on the council.
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EMS service to lay off 361 workers in Indiana

August 21, 2014
Mason King
Rural/Metro Corp. says the changing health care landscape and the challenges of covering rural communities are forcing it to end its area ambulance services. It's also closing a billing operations center in Indianapolis.
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Advocate brokers lower IPL rate hike for car-sharing service

August 21, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
Indianapolis Power & Light Co. customers would see less of a rate hike for an electric car-sharing program under a settlement agreement negotiated by the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor.
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Flanner House charter school to close after cheating allegations

August 21, 2014
J.K. Wall
The Flanner House Elementary charter school will close on Sept. 11 after the Indiana Department of Education found evidence of widespread cheating on the state standardized ISTEP test. The school has 176 students.
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Engineers: Union Station requires $3.7 million in emergency repairs

August 20, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
The Department of Metropolitan Development could tap the downtown TIF fund to cover the costs. The problems were uncovered after bricks fell off the station's south wall in December 2012.
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Cardinal Health unit seeks tax breaks for local drug facility

August 18, 2014
 IBJ Staff
A subsidiary of Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal Health Inc. is seeking tax breaks from the city of Indianapolis to help it open a $14.4 million local drug-production facility that would employ 85 workers by 2017.
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Indianapolis 2015 budget would use reserves

August 18, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard will introduce to the City-County Council on Monday night a $1 billion budget for 2015 that taps reserves to make ends meet. Next year would be the third year in a row that the city taps fund balances to close a budget deficit.
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Top Ballard deputy Kintner heading for private sector

August 15, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard announced several staff changes Friday morning, including the planned departure of Deputy Mayor of Economic Development Deron Kintner.
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Democrats question $12M in consulting contracts

August 13, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
The cash-strapped city of Indianapolis has entered agreements worth more than $12 million as it pursues a public-private partnership for a new courthouse and jail. Mayor Greg Ballard's office says the fees will be paid by the developer.
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CIB to provide $5M for natatorium maintenance

August 11, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
The Capital Improvement Board of Managers of Marion County voted Monday to give the Indiana Sports Corp. $500,000 a year for the next 10 years to create a reserve fund for maintenance on the IU Natatorium at IUPUI.
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$500M Indy justice center relies on novel funding

August 9, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
The city will pay an annual fee to a private-sector consortium that will design, build, finance, maintain and operate the facility. According to the Ballard administration, the project won’t require a tax hike.
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City board approves recycling deal with Covanta

August 6, 2014
 IBJ Staff
The Indianapolis Board of Public Works voted Wednesday to approve Covanta as the city’s main residential recycling provider for the next 14 years.
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Second city Land Bank defendant pleads guilty

August 6, 2014
Cory Schouten
A second defendant in an alleged kickback scheme involving the Indy Land Bank has pleaded guilty, and a judge has moved a trial for three remaining defendants to early 2015.
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Ballard proposes $50M preschool program as part of crime initiative

July 30, 2014
J.K. Wall
Mayor Greg Ballard on Wednesday proposed a 5-year program to pay for preschool for 4-year-olds from low-income families. He also floated hiring another 280 police officers. The cost to the average household would be $86 per year.
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Clock ticks on Wigwam's fate

July 18, 2014
Associated Press
Anderson officials say the city will take ownership of the iconic gym, but only if it has a binding agreement by Sept. 2 with a group to reopen the Wigwam.
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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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