City still on hook for $11.2M on abandoned justice project

Taxpayers still owe $11.2 million to consultants and contractors involved with an abandoned plan to build a new criminal justice center for Marion County.

Officials will discuss Monday a proposal to borrow money to cover those costs, The Indianapolis Star reported.

City-County Council Chief Financial Officer Bart Brown said the borrowed money would go to three developers who submitted bids for the project, an architectural firm, a law firm and an option on the property.

The justice center would have merged the county's two jails, an arrestee processing center and the criminal courts under one roof.

The plan was scrapped earlier this year because of council members' concerns about the cost of the $1.75 billion project. That figure includes total cost of construction, maintenance and interest payments over 35 years.

Developer WMB Heartland Justice Partners presented a revised plan to the council on June 1 that would have reduced the actual construction costs of the proposed center by $17.5 million, or 4.3 percent, from $408 million to $390.5 million, but the council voted 16-13 against considering it.

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