Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Proposals Flowing Through Council

The Council is not being idle in the holiday season, by any means. Among the Proposals now flowing through the system, there are some that caught my eye.

Prop 292 would approve the sweetheart deal for the North of South developer, Buckingham Cos., whereby the City and taxpayers would act as banker and Uncle Money-Bags, so that the developer only need invest $6 million of their own money in a $188 m project. No financial institution felt the project warranted their backing. That goes to the Economic Development Committee, which next meets on December 15.

Tonight, the Administration & Finance Committee will hear, among other things, three Proposals of interest. First is Prop 324, which would require all City or County government related websites to be hosted by the Information Services Agency on indy.gov or indygov.biz.

Second is Prop 247, which would approve the refunding of the bonds floated in 1991 for the Harding Street TIF, which amounted to $35 million in principle back then. As seems all too usual, it appears that not much of the principle has been paid down over these nearly two decades. One of the expressed goals of this proposal is to also gain enough added principle to pay Eli Lilly back for a loan it made to the City back in 1991 and related to this TIF. Although the amount is not stated in the Proposal (keep repeating "transparency, transparency, transparency"), other documents suggest a price tag of $14-$15 million for the loan repayment. The bond to be floated, if this proposal is successful, would be for $45 million. The loan repayment is part of the No-So deal and the cash would flow through Lilly, directly to the developer.

Third is Prop 296, which seeks approval of an early retirement plan for City and County government workers, who have put in enough years of service to qualify. The package sets a limit of $45,000 per employee who enters into the early retirement plan. It would seem that the City has enough money to throw $33.5 million at the Pacers and serve as a banker for $93 million for the No-So development, but it needs to cut its own payroll. Yes, I know there are different pots of money that Ballard is turning into his own piggy bank for favored recipients of his largess, but it seems that this Administration's priorities are all messed up. This proposal was tabled at the last Admin & Finance meeting.

Also coming up is Prop 337, which seeks to encourage the Indianapolis International Airport to release TSA from doing security at the airport, and either hire their own workforce, or hire an outside contractor. This has been assigned to the Municipal Corporations Committee, which next meets on December 13.

And last but not least, is this proposal that caught my eye. Prop 377 would create a fund into which folks could donate money to the City at the same time as they pay their property tax bills. I'd be curious if enough money will be donated to cover the expenses of soliciting and administering those donations? This proposal has been assigned to the Rules & Public Policy Committee, which next meets on December 14.


Blog Admin said...

And on another note, Doctor Director Frank Straub is up for re-nomination as Dept. head of Public Safety.

Jon said...

Interesting, no one showed up at the meeting to discuss prop 247 and so it was tabled. Jackie Nytes objected stating that it was important and necessary (not verbatim). What is her dog is this fight, why is she pushing prop 247?