Republicans deal Dems new hand with revised Rebuild Indy 2

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Indianapolis Republicans think they have an infrastructure financing plan that Democrats can't refuse.

Mayor Greg Ballard announced Friday morning that a revised, slightly less ambitious Rebuild Indy 2 proposal will be introduced at the June 23 City-County Council meeting and co-sponsored by 13 Republicans.

That would leave just two votes for the minority party to gather to finally pass a version of the plan that Ballard unveiled last summer. Initially the proposal was co-sponsored by Democratic Council President Maggie Lewis and Minority Leader Michael McQuillen, but it's been held up by the council's public works committee.

The new plan calls for $300 million in infrastructure improvements, down from the $350 million originally proposed. It would be financed in part by a $105 million bond issue, down from the earlier $150 million.

McQuillen said the plan would address Democrats' concerns by scaling back the life of the bond issue from 30 years to 20 years. Also, Republicans are guaranteeing that $12 million will be spent in each of the 25 council districts with input from each representative, he said.

"I'm guessing we're going to be able to come together in the middle here and get this done," McQuillen said.

Democrats issued a statement Monday saying that  the majority party was preparing to unveil its own alternative. Vernon Brown, chairman of the public works committee, said Friday that plan was still forthcoming, and that he'd like to have the committee consider both plans and perhaps reach a compromise.

Brown declined to comment on the revision of Rebuild Indy 2 that Ballard announced Monday because he wasn't familiar with it. "I would have liked to be involved in the conversation from the beginning," he said.

The parties sparred over infrastructure spending this spring, but $16 million for emergency repairs passed the council on a bipartisan vote Monday night. Department of Public Works Director Lori Miser said there isn't likely enough time left in the construction season to spend all of the money this year.

Republican Ginny Cain, a member of the public works committee, voted against the measure Monday night because she said the source of funding wouldn't allow the city to leverage federal matching grants. She said she'd prefer to use the money that would be borrowed under Rebuild Indy 2.

Brown, who likes to have the last word in debate, equated the mayor's plan to make-believe. "I know that Councilor Cain believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and Rebuild Indy 2," he said.


  • Not The First Time
    People are complaining about the snide comment about Vernon Brown are, of course, correct. No professional, objetive journalist would include such a snide editorial comment in what is supposed to be a straight news piece. I'm surprised the IBJ editors allowed it to slip through Nonetheless, this isn't the first time I've seen KM write biased articles in favor of the city administration's positions. Most of the IBJ's writers are straight shooters, objective and professional about the facts. Not KM. She may well be angling for a PR position with the Ballard administration.
  • News By Nature Is Editorial
    I think the last three commentators are either naive or willfully choosing to ignore the fact that the very act of news reporting involves some degree of judgment and always involves some level of bias. When you decide what news you will print and what news you will not, which every single news source does, then you have made an editorial decision. There is not, and never has been, anything like the supposed "pure" news reporting that some people claim to remember. Now, there is a difference between purely partisan reporting and propaganda and news reporting that is intended to inform the reader. Vernon Brown is known for being a vigorous debater and he does enjoy "getting the last word." I see no problem with pointing out that characteristic of Mr. Brown in the context of this article. It is not taking sides, so much as giving some color and deeper insight to what is an important debate occuring between the city administration and the Demoractic majority of the City-County Council.
  • agreed
    I agree with the previous two comments. Why can't news stories just report the facts anymore?
  • @NIck
    I was surprised by the tone of the last paragraph of this article as well.
  • Last Word
    The portion of the last paragraph, "Brown, who likes to have the last word in debate...," seems to be an editorial observation not necessary for a news story.

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