Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Ballard's Township Fire Department Grab Bill Fails
The Senate Local Government Committee today voted down on a 4-6 vote Mayor Greg Ballard's legislative plan to seize three township fire departments in Marion County without the consent of the respective township governments. HB 1229 would have forced township fire departments in Decatur, Pike and Wayne townships to merge with the Indianapolis Fire Department at the behest of Mayor Ballard. The city of Indianapolis has gutted its property tax base with expanded TIF areas used to enhance the slush funds controlled by Mayor Ballard and used to pass out to large campaign contributors to fund their private real estate developments. Unable to fund basic city services with the balance of city revenues, Ballard saw the forced consolidation of the township fire departments as a way of expanding IFD's property tax base to short up its funding. Upon the consolidation, Ballard would immediately slash fire services to the affected townships as has occurred elsewhere in the county and divert those new-found revenues to other areas. Ballard's TIF-supported plan to relocate IFD's headquarters and Fire Station 7 from its current location on Mass Ave will cost taxpayers well north of $40 million, all so he could give a prime block of real estate to large campaign contributors to redevelop for their own selfish use.