Street repair map stirs controversy

Democrats say 4 districts get nothing

INDIANAPOLIS - A proposal to fix Indianapolis’ crumbling roads is drawing criticism from democrats on the City-County Council who say four of their districts would receive zero dollars, Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney reported.

Councilor William Oliver, D-District 10, told Kenney under a proposal from Mayor Greg Ballard, his east-side district would not receive any money for road and sidewalk improvements.

Proposal 90 is an $8 million proposal the mayor recently submitted to address the impact of the winter storms, according to council democrats.

Other districts not receiving funding include Councilor Angela Mansfield’s District 2, Councilor Vernon Brown’s District 18 and Councilor Frank Mascari’s District 20.

"It’s not fair," said Oliver. "All over the city, taxpayers are wondering ‘what’s going on here?'"

Oliver has been fighting for years to help repair crumbling sidewalks and roads on the east side.

When Kenney stopped by Monday afternoon, Oliver showed her Forest Manor, a road pocketed with dozens of gaping potholes.

"We want the worst of the worst done first," said Oliver. "Taxpayers drive around and they see the work being done. Everyone on this street pays their taxes too."

According to a map provided to Kenney by council democrats, the average funding for Republican districts is $1,120,604 and $708,867 for Democrat districts under the Mayor’s plan.

Marc Lotter, spokesperson for Mayor Greg Ballard, denied the proposal was politically motivated.

"Council Democrats want to distract people from the fact that they continue to block Mayor Ballard’s proposals to fix streets and sidewalks throughout the city, including their most recent action last week to block emergency pothole repairs due to the harsh winter," Lotter said in an email to Kenney. "This latest allegation is nothing but politics."

Lotter pointed out there are 14 Republican council districts and 11 Democrat council districts, setting aside At-Large councilors who are elected countywide.

"The fact is Republican Council districts include 60% of the city’s population and cover 72% of the square miles of the county; coincidentally, approximately 61% of the infrastructure repair funding has covered those areas," Lotter said. "Decisions are based on need, not politics, and you can find plenty of examples to support that."

The Public Works Committee is expected to discuss Proposal 90 at a meeting later this month.

It would be funded with Rebuild Indy dollars, generated from the sale of the city’s water utility in 2010.                

Click here to find out how the city decides which streets to pave first: http://bit.ly/1jow8Xj

Follow Kara Kenney on Twitter: @karakenney6 | Facebook: KaraKenneyNews

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