“They just showed up one day tearing up my front yard and put these chargers in,” McCarthy said. “I feel like these cars, parked there all day, are going to devalue my property. I put a lot of money into this house.”
Despite the protests of McCarthy and other residents, businesses and City-County Council members, Ballard and BlueIndy will roll out the controversial electric car rental service during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Downtown on Wednesday . . .
The program has been 16 months in the making and dogged by criticism, much of it from council members who contend the city is illegally ceding right of way to the private company and inappropriately subsidizing the operation with $6 million in city funds.
But most of the recent complaints have bubbled from the neighborhoods as work crews — without warning — began digging trenches on prime parking spots to make room for electric cables, chargers and kiosks. Each of the stations has five spots reserved for the compact, four-seat plug-ins.
Chas Navarra, a 60-year-old health care worker, was alarmed when a station went up near his home in the Old Northside neighborhood at 13th and Alabama streets.
“I live in a historic neighborhood, and I’ve got a rental car business in front of my house,” he said. “What’s the difference between having this and Hertz or Avis parked out there? How is this going to be good for my (property) valuation?”
Navarra has organized a petition drive on Facebook called “Stop BlueIndy NOW” with 32 likes, and he has contacted council members Joe Simpson, Zach Adamson and Christine Scales, all critics of the way the city has implemented the program.
Navarra said he was never told the chargers would be built on his block and was shocked by the size of the operation.
“When it smacks you on the forehead like that, it’s really something,” he said. “Do we even know if these chargers are safe or if children should be playing around them?”Several Democratic council members held a press conference this morning to express their opposition to the deal. Talk is cheap. Mayor Ballard accused the council members of just making stuff up when they suggested spending on program like Blue Indy has resulted in fewer dollars being spent on public safety despite the 10% income tax increase that took effect for that very purpose in January, the umpteenth time Ballard has raised taxes and fees during his two terms as mayor. It's hard to believe this phony got elected originally on a anti-tax message.