Thursday, July 03, 2014

Ballard Plans To Go Forward With Spending $10 Million In TIF Funds For Improvements To University-Owned Natatorium

Mayor Greg Ballard has told Indianapolis taxpayers that they can pony up and start paying higher taxes if they want more police officers, better infrastructure and otherwise have money to pay for basic city services, but he's prepared to give nearly $10 million in TIF funds to IUPUI to make improvements to the Natatorium that the cash-rich university has deliberately permitted to fall into a state of disrepair while awaiting a handout from city taxpayers. If it's anything related to sports or downtown development projects, there's never any shortage of money. From the IBJ:
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.

1 comment:

Rick Smith said...

When you give someone something they often don't value it. Sounds like IUPUI took that position on the Nat knowing the city would ante up at the final hour.

They kind of had a gun to the cities head, as does nearly every sports franchise in the city. The city isn't going to risk the reputation of the city as a sports capital.

Hopefully we can average fewer shootings over this 10 day event. That seems to be the real threat to Public Safety and our reputation.