Articles

Assessor consolidation is a must

We have a long-standing policy of not endorsing political candidates, but there’s no such policy where ballot initiatives
are concerned. So we urge our readers to vote "yes" on assessor consolidation.

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Obama raising more money in Indiana, but business interests stick with McCain

Republican Sen. John McCain has been unable to achieve the same Indiana fund-raising edge on his Democratic opponent that
President George W. Bush did in past elections. Bush rang up an Indiana fund-raising advantage of $1.7 million over Sen. John
Kerry in 2004, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. And his popularity in Indiana allowed
him to spend those dollars to help him campaign in other states while easily winning Indiana’s electoral
votes. But this election, Sen. Barack Obama had outraised Republican John McCain by $360,000 through the end of August, when
McCain’s decision to take public campaign funds forced him to stop raising funds directly for himself.
Obama did not take public funds, and so has continued to raise money.

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Mayor says some of 38 TIF districts have problems, might need reorganization

Mayor Greg Ballard worries his predecessor, Bart Peterson, may have overreached with his ambitious tax-increment-financing
district for the last phase of Fall Creek Place. That phase of the renewed urban neighborhood isn’t producing enough revenue
to support its $6.2 million in outstanding bonds. And Ballard is not sure all of Marion County’s 37 other TIF district are
necessary, either.

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City shows up peers in luring, keeping young, educated, married couples

 Regional economic development experts say cities must woo talented people while they’re young–in
their 20s or early 30s–because, after that age, people tend to hunker down. The Indianapolis area apparently appeals to at
least two key groups of young people–particularly those already married, according to a new study by researchers at IUPUI.

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‘Rollcrete’ might provide alternative to pricey asphalt

Cities and counties are looking for alternatives to asphalt as the price soars for the oil-based material and threatens
to bring paving projects and contractors skidding to a halt. The city of Indianapolis may have just found
one viable alternative that goes down like asphalt: roller-compacted concrete, or "rollcrete."


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Developers fear stricter IDEM cleanup rules

State environmental regulators are catching an earful for what some businesses complain is a rush to aggressive new rules
for remediating land contamination. Developers worry the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s proposals, which
could require comprehensive site cleanup, will discourage brownfield redevelopment, especially the reuse of tainted-but-valuable
land in urban areas.

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$720 million stadium will open with big operating deficit

Cleaning crews are wiping construction dust from the 63,000 seats in Lucas Oil Stadium, prepping for the public’s first peek at the $720 million venue Aug. 16. But the hard work is only beginning for the city’s Capital Improvement Board, the entity charged with operating the stadium. The fumbling point: CIB is anticipating a $20 million operating deficit for Lucas Oil Stadium in 2009.

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Government officials dangle incentives, attracting firms across county lines

Marion County economic development officials are proud of their latest headquarters attraction. Bowen Engineering Corp.
will inject 103 high-paying jobs into the Indianapolis economy immediately. And over time, the company expects
to add another 138. Their average salaries will top $70,000. The deal didn’t require Mayor Greg Ballard
to travel to Japan, or even to another state. Bowen Engineering is moving all of 8.4 miles, from its former
home in Fishers to the 8800 block of North Meridian Street.

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I-465 widening may require buyout of several buildings

Several landmark commercial properties fronting Interstate 465 on the northeast side could be in the path of bulldozers
when the state begins adding lanes as early as 2012. Memos prepared by a consulting firm to the Indiana
Department of Transportation go as far as estimating acquisition prices for buildings, including that of
country station WFMS-FM 95.5 and other Cumulus Media stations at 6810 N. Shadeland Ave.

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Group plots public-private revival for midtown Meridian neighborhoods

There was a time when residents of Meridian Kessler, Butler Tarkington, and Broad Ripple viewed North Meridian Street as a
connection between their neighborhoods. These days, the road feels more like a divide-an intimidating commuter highway between
downtown and the northern suburbs that discourages pedestrian and bicycle traffic. A partnership of community groups including
the Meridian Street Foundation is hoping to change that by giving the neighborhoods a collective identity–Midtown–and mixing
private and public money to fund major infrastructure improvements.

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