In a last-ditch effort to rescue Mayor Greg Ballard's plan to build a new criminal justice center relying upon a public-private partnership ("P3"), supporters rolled out a scaled-down version of the plan in an effort to assuage enough council members to garner the 15 votes needed to pass the 35-year deal. The winning bidder, WMB Heartland Justice Partners, submitted a revised plan that would shave the initial construction costs about $17.5 million by cutting the size of the jail, eliminating some courtrooms and cutting space utilized by the Marion Co. Sheriff's Department. Council President Maggie Lewis and Marion County Sheriff Jack Layton, both Democrats, immediately rejected the plan and called for its defeat.
When the project was first put out for bid, the administration sought a new jail with 3,480 beds. In the final RFP, the jail size dropped to 3,000 in order to cut the cost of the final proposal. Under the revised plan another 448 beds will be eliminated in the jail complex. While that may cut construction costs slightly, it puts a big hole in available revenues to fund the annual payments paid to the P3 operator. The original plan assumed there would be millions of dollars in income earned annually from excess jail bed capacity that would be leased to the federal government for its detainees. The courthouse size would be cut from 28 to 24 courtrooms, the current number of criminal courts in Marion County. The sheriff's department would be moved into the courthouse building, eliminating the need for a separate building.
If the criminal justice center woes aren't bad enough, the problems with Mayor Ballard's controversial 7-year, no-bid contract with Vision Fleet to provide the city with a fleet of electrical and hybrid cars continue to mount. Advance Indiana now hears that the administration is having IPL install charging stations for the BlueIndy car-sharing service that are not even legal for use in the United States to accommodate the French-made electrical cars. Charging stations have to be modified to accommodate the electrical cars the city leases from Vision Fleet. We're also hearing of some issues with the batteries used by the cars as well as the prospect that a second-generation electric car being produced by GM, the Chevy Bolt, will replace the Chevy Volt as it is eventually phased out.
Advance Indiana is also hearing that several members of Ballard's staff are planning to jump ship and are not about to allow the mayor's flawed and illegal moves late in the closing year of his term in office to sully their reputations. FBI agents have been snooping around the City-County Building to determine if any criminal laws may have been broken, further heightening administration officials' worries. Advance Indiana hears that Ballard plans to scapegoat one senior staff member for the Vision Fleet fiasco over the use of storm water fees even though the blames lies at his door step. Ballard reportedly told some senior staff members that if they weren't on board in defending and supporting his Vision Fleet and BlueIndy initiatives, they need to look for new jobs. Ballard is reportedly obsessed about plans to write a book that would tout his green energy initiatives as Indianapolis' mayor. Recent developments threaten to undo his book plans before the first words can be written, and that has put him in a very foul mood.
What is wrong with leaving the courts, sheriff, police and prosecution, etc. at the C-C and move out the executive branch & City Council to new quarters? This would be a lot cheaper. Oh, I forgot. that is why it is not being considered. Ballard's favorite construction company and pet City Councilors from the south side won't make as much.
No matter how many beds this place has, it will still not be enough. The current proposal (#1) did not have enough space for programming and other things that would reduce jail beds. John Layton will of course refuse to back anything at this point, all because of politics. No matter he was fully supporting proposal #1.
Is Ballard pushing so hard for the jail because that is probably where he will be living in retirement?
Gary, didn't the IURC rule that IPL is not allowed to install the Blue Indy charging stations and pass costs on to the rest of their customers?
How about the Mayor's Office be built at a new location to the Ross area in Gary, IN, so that he can be closer to those who influence our Mayor best?
IPL disapproved of IPL passing on the costs of the charging stations to ratepayers. It approved the costs of the infrastructure improvements required to support those charging stations.
They sure put lots of energy into those green initiatives.
If FBI Agents are snooping around they are probably looking for the Rest Rooms. The big deal in play for the Justice Department is the FIFA Scandal. Our Department of InJustice is all over FIFA. The Wall Street Crooks have better than a Get of Jail Card, they have No Indictment Card.
If there is any investigation by the Feds I suspect some low level types will bear the brunt of it. Ballard must be a more than a bit peeved as several of his schemes are falling apart.
This Republican wants a front row courtroom seat when Greg is indicted for his many crimes against the people and the broken laws and hauled before the bench. I pray the judge for Ballard's trial isn't bought off in advance. Remember the sale of Lawrence's water utility to Citizen's Coke & Gas (now transformed by insider deals to be Citizens Energy Group)?
Ballard writing a book?
Laughable. Just laughable.
Yamaha makes a Bolt motorcycle. Look for Yamaha to find Chevy's name confusing.
Not related to this post, and you don't have to post this comment, but it looks like IMPD has another David Bisard. Maybe they will get the blood draw right this time............
Looks like Ballard is wasting TAX money in Fountain Square by installing more Blue Indy charging stations and wasting more parking in a limited parking environment!
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