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Hogsett Asks Council to Drain Rainy-Day Fund to Gain Upper Hand on Potholes

Mayor: Weather, decades of underfunding responsible for "deplorable" road conditions

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Indy is launching a second assault on the potholes that have turned city streets into bumpy Swiss cheese.

Mayor Joe Hogsett says 20 city crews plus four private contractors will begin a weeklong pothole-filling effort when the rain stops -- that's expected to be Sunday. And he's asking the City-County Council to drain the city's newly-created rainy day fund to boost this year's road-repair budget by nearly one-sixth.

Hogsett says the $14 million shot of cash will let the city redo long strips of roadway or even full resurfacing. He says patching just the holes is a short-term fix that in some cases hasn't even lasted a month, especially since crews have to use the less durable winter mix of asphalt.

Hogsett calls Indianapolis road conditions "deplorable" and "unacceptable. He says the city's been the victim of unusually frequent warmups and freezes this year. And he says the city is paying the price for what he says have been decades of underfunding roads to keep the overall city budget in balance. Hogsett says one estimate says it would take a billion dollars to get Indianapolis roads "back to adequacy."

Hogsett says he won't support a local tax hike to cover those costs. He says he'd like to talk with legislators about altering the distribution of existing income tax dollars.

The mayor says he'll ask the council to waive its usual rules to push through the extra funding in a single meeting on March 12.

(Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)

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