Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Council Committee Defeats Marion County Criminal Justice Center Project
After lengthy testimony and public debate, the Rules & Public Policy Committee of the Indianapolis City-County Council defeated the Ballard administration's plan to construct a $1.75 billion, 35-year new criminal justice center for Marion County under a public-private partnership agreement on a 2-6 vote along party lines. Tonight's vote does not represent a vote in opposition to building a new criminal justice center; rather, it represents a rejection of the P3 approach to building it. The overwhelming evidence demonstrated that a traditional, design-build approach under which the city-county government would maintain ownership and control of the complex is a more cost-efficient approach. The administration's claims the privately-built, operated and maintained complex would cost taxpayers less than current facilities strained credulity. Tonight's vote is a major victory for taxpayers and one this blog will not shy away from taking considerable credit given it stood alone in the face of a propaganda machine led by the local media, GIPC, the Indy Chamber, building and construction trade groups, labor unions and other major stakeholders who signed on to the P3 approach from the outset and were unwilling to let the facts get in the way of rational consideration of the best approach for this project.