Articles

Reader suggests IBJ journalists probe officials’ assertions

The airport authority should not assume a 3-percent growth rate because of the new airport, and the FFA Convention was not
as wildly successful as reported. Mayor Peterson shouldn’t be held out as a good example of a mayor who supports public transportation.

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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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Mayor’s Action Center might be privatized to cure chronic woes

Maybe it’s a stray dog rooting through your garbage. Perhaps someone has abandoned a car amid the potholes riddling your
street. Either way, Indianapolis offers a one-stop shop for irate residents to complain. Just dial the Mayor’s
Action Center at 327-4MAC. Then get ready to wait. And wait. So long, in fact, that close to half of the
MAC’s callers hang up in frustration.

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Flood of appeals expected after rushed biz property-tax assessment

In 2005, assessors valued the 559-acre Indianapolis Motor Speedway at $34.4 million for property tax purposes. According to
the latest Marion County reassessment, it now has a market value of $170 million. Thousands of other businesses also would
see extraordinary spikes in property values, according to an IBJ analysis of the latest assessment data.

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Streetcars work in Portland, but viability here uncertain

If the introduction of modern streetcars to one West Coast city can be replicated here, Indianapolis would see new, higher-density
housing and related retail and restaurants shadowing the line. Fallow areas crossed by the tracks would become fertile for
new investment. At least that was the case in Portland, Ore., a city mesmerizing to Indianapolis civic leaders, who last month
formed Downtown Indianapolis Streetcar Corp. They risk being run out of town on a rail: a streetcar line will cost…

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SPECIAL REPORT: Center Township trustee taps taxpayers for millions

At an aging building at 863 Massachusetts Ave., they pass through a metal detector and wait in line to show a clerk their
identification and copies of overdue bills. Center Township Trustee Carl Drummer sometimes helps. The Trustee’s Office received
an average of $6.9 million each of the last seven years, mostly from taxes, to provide poor relief-now known as township assistance.
But only about $2 million reached the penniless each year, with much of the difference covering administrative overhead….

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Ex-member: Township board ‘bored by the budget’

Although he collects an average $6.9 million each year for poor relief, mostly from taxes, Center Township Trustee Carl Drummer
is rarely asked to explain his finances. Drummer’s budget is filed-unread-each year in the Indianapolis City Controller’s
office. The 66-employee Indiana Department of Local Government Finance reviews it, along with budgets from every other taxing
entity in the state. Year-end reports go to the State Board of Accounts, a 282-worker agency that conducts 2,700 to 3,000
audits of Indiana counties,…

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