The city of Indianapolis, IUPUI and Lilly Endowment are close to unveiling a plan to renovate the Indiana University Natatorium that will include broader changes to give the campus a stronger downtown presence.
Mayor Greg Ballard's office plans to announce the deal soon, according to members of the Metropolitan Development Commission.
Director of Metropolitan Development Adam Thies briefly mentioned the pending announcement Wednesday to the commission during a regular meeting conducted before official proceedings. The pre-meeting, as it's known, is open to the public but not recorded.
The deal will likely involve the city's contributing money from the downtown tax-increment finance fund, a move that requires the Metropolitan Development Commission's approval.
Ballard's initial plan for the city to give IUPUI about $9.5 million to help renovate the aging natatorium in time for the 2016 Olympic diving trials hit a wall with the City-County Council, but the TIF money is controlled by the nine-member Metropolitan Development Commission, where the mayor's five appointees make up a majority . . .Whenever anyone mentions the idea of tapping the nearly $120 million in property tax revenues the City of Indianapolis diverts to the TIF slush funds annually to pay for anything other than projects advanced by the downtown mafia, the administration screams bloody murder and how it would be a violation of state law. Yet they dip into those same funds to finance whatever it takes to satisfy their latest itch regardless of how unrelated it is to the purpose for which TIF funds are supposed to be dedicated. This is so disgusting on so many levels. The university spends like a drunken sailor on new buildings non-stop but pleads poverty when it comes to maintaining a building that was donated to it from the beginning just so the City could host the Pan Am Games back in 1987. Of course, the MDC will go along with the plan. Nobody gets appointed to that commission unless they are financially beholden to the downtown mafia.
UPDATE: The ice skating rinks at the Pan Am Plaza downtown officially became history today. City officials allowed the Indiana Sports Corporation to take over the city-owned property that was paid for with city tax dollars. The ice skating rinks were especially built in preparation for the 1987 Pan Am Games. ISC sold the property to Kite Realty, which plans to redevelop the land with a luxury hotel development that will likely be partially funded with a huge public subsidy from the City's TIF funds on the site of the former ice rink. More kickbacks, payoffs and bribes courtesy of the downtown mafia. It's the Indianapolis Way.