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Lilly Endowment gives $10M to improve charities' facilities

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Lilly Endowment will give United Way of Central Indiana $10 million to replenish its capital improvement program, which helps not-for-profit agencies repair and upgrade their buildings.

With previous grants from Lilly Endowment, UWCI has distributed $90.8 million since 2000. United Way CEO Ellen Annala said in today's announcement that the extension "could not have come at a better time," as the organization has learned of more than 20 potential projects in the planning stages.

United Way will distribute the money over the next four years to member agencies in its six-county area. The capital improvement grants typically do not exceed 50 percent of project costs.

Most of the $10 million will be directed toward United Way member agencies for their projects. United Way will also allocate $2.5 million for "community" projects in which it collaborates with other entities, said Bob Rush, United Way's director of capital funds. He said United Way is hoping to see some proposals for a community center or other projects on the east side of Indianapolis, especially near 38th Street and Keystone.

United Way's capital improvement program began in 2000 with a $60 million grant from Lilly Endowment. That was renewed in 2003 and 2006, each time with $20 million.

"We have been very pleased with United Way's administration of the funds," Lilly Endowment President N. Clay Robbins said in a prepared statement. He noted that a committee of volunteers with expertise in architecture, engineering and finance reviews each project that's proposed, ensuring that specifications, designs and plants are "solidly conceived and well thought out."

"The committee's conscientious engagement in the allocation of these funds has significantly enhanced their impact on the delivery of human services in our community," Robbins said.

Since its inception, the capital improvement program has helped fund 116 projects for 69 agencies. Annala said the Lilly Endowment grant spurred other donations, resulting in more than $250 million spent over the nine-year period.  United Way has also used the investment earnings to help its member agencies and others offset rising heating and gasoline costs and upgrade technology.

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  1. The $104K to CRC would go toward debts service on $486M of existing debt they already have from other things outside this project. Keystone buys the bonds for 3.8M from CRC, and CRC in turn pays for the parking and site work, and some time later CRC buys them back (with interest) from the projected annual property tax revenue from the entire TIF district (est. $415K / yr. from just this property, plus more from all the other property in the TIF district), which in theory would be about a 10-year term, give-or-take. CRC is basically betting on the future, that property values will increase, driving up the tax revenue to the limit of the annual increase cap on commercial property (I think that's 3%). It should be noted that Keystone can't print money (unlike the Federal Treasury) so commercial property tax can only come from consumers, in this case the apartment renters and consumers of the goods and services offered by the ground floor retailers, and employees in the form of lower non-mandatory compensation items, such as bonuses, benefits, 401K match, etc.

  2. $3B would hurt Lilly's bottom line if there were no insurance or Indemnity Agreement, but there is no way that large an award will be upheld on appeal. What's surprising is that the trial judge refused to reduce it. She must have thought there was evidence of a flagrant, unconscionable coverup and wanted to send a message.

  3. As a self-employed individual, I always saw outrageous price increases every year in a health insurance plan with preexisting condition costs -- something most employed groups never had to worry about. With spouse, I saw ALL Indiana "free market answer" plans' premiums raise 25%-45% each year.

  4. It's not who you chose to build it's how they build it. Architects and engineers decide how and what to use to build. builders just do the work. Architects & engineers still think the tarp over the escalators out at airport will hold for third time when it snows, ice storms.

  5. http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/duke-energy-customers-angry-about-money-for-nothing

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