Mayor Ballard and Democrats Embattled Over RebuildIndy 2
The political battle over Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard's RebuildIndy 2 plan is heating up.
City County Council Democrats say Ballard's $350 million infrastructure upgrade plan is way too costly for Marion County residents. Democratic Councilman Frank Mascari says the Mayor's plan would have the city all torn up at once, inconvenience commuters all over the city and residents would be stuck paying for the project for the next 30 years. Mascari says his allies are working on their own RebuildIndy 2 plan. He says they prefer a "pay as you go" approach that would rely on finding $150 million in local financing through current revenue sources rather than the Mayor's bond issue approach.
Mascari adds Republicans like Councilman Michael McQuillen are trying to make residents think that the Mayor's plan must be acted on quickly to secure the other $150 million in federal backing for the project. He says that's not true and that federal financing will be available for quite some time. Mascari says democrats will have a closed door meeting Monday to further work on their version of the plan.
Meantime, Ballard says even though he's talking about a 30-year bond issue, the projects - roads, bridges and sidewalks -will have long lasting impact. Ballard says Democratic Council President Maggie Lewis and others initially helped roll out his plan, but he adds Mascari and others are now blocking it.