Monday, August 11, 2014

CIB Votes To Give Another $5 Million To IUPUI To Pay Maintenance Costs On Natatorium

Without blinking an eye, the corrupt Capital Improvement Board voted to approve an additional $5 million in funding for ongoing maintenance expenses for IUPUI's Natatorium, in addition to the $10 million the City is contributing for streetscape and pedestrian improvements that will only benefit the cash-rich university. Despite the fact that the university contributes absolutely nothing to pay for the heavy burden it places on the City's infrastructure and public safety expenses, the university comes with hat-in-hand with the backing of the downtown mafia to support more funding at a time the City is prepared to slam Indianapolis taxpayers with another massive tax increase to pay for basic city services.

The CIB's President, Ann Lathrop, says the municipal corporation can afford it because it has such a large amount of money in cash reserves. Yet the CIB refuses to reimburse the City for the multi-million dollars in added public safety costs the sports palaces and convention center cost city taxpayers annually, and no property taxes are paid on any of its sports venues despite the fact that they are used exclusively by wealthy sports team owners for their own personal business purposes. No other private business owners in the state of Indiana are allowed to operate their businesses without paying property taxes on the real and personal property they use for business purposes unless they are granted a short-term tax abatement for economic development purposes.

Incredibly, the backers of the funding for the Natatorium claim it generates revenues for the City by the very few, poorly-attended events hosted at the facility. The largest draw at the facility are the basketball games IUPUI's team practices and plays its home games. Alison Melangton, an overpaid executive for the nonprofit Indiana Sports Corporation that is behind the massive public investments in amateur sporting events, whined to the board that many events have had to be cancelled in recent years because the Natatorium isn't as much of a world class facility as similar facilities in other cities. "We are in a daily battle with cities across the nation, who are chasing our tail for events," said Allison Melangton, executive director for the Indiana Sports Corp., which will manage the fund. "We have had people cancel events because of the conditions there." Tell me, Allison, how do you look at yourself in the mirror everyday knowing what lies your job requires you to tell? Tell us about all the kickbacks members of the downtown mafia got for their participation in helping put on the 2012 Super Bowl that cost our City at least $50 million in precious dollars that could have been spent on things that would actually benefit the people who live here?

The two Democratic members of the CIB voted against today's $5 million gift to IUPUI, including City-County Council President Maggie Lewis and Doug Brown, a managing partner at Bose Public Affairs Group, the lobbying arm of Bose McKinney & Evans. That's the same law firm that outgoing U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett just started work as a partner. Hogsett plans to seek the Democratic nomination for mayor next year. This blog has criticized Brown's service as a member of the CIB in the past because of his role as a lobbyist. Brown is the appointee of the Marion Co. Commissioners, which is comprised of various county-wide elected Democratic officials. Colts owner Jim Irsay has hired the firm to lobby for him in the past, creating a clear conflict of interest for Brown.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The IU Natatorium is NOT the city's problem.

Funding should come The IU Varsity Club, IU, and The State of Indiana, and any other donors.

Taxpayers of Indianapolis should be exempt!