Another Ballard contract dies, City Councilor calls for investigation

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 10, 2016) – Millions in tax payer money down the drain. Another city contract entered into by the Ballard administration has gone belly up. This time it is for a multi-million dollar recycling facility that was supposed to come to the city’s south side.

This is just the latest in what has been a slew of no-bid contracts that the city has lost money on.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced Wednesday a $45 million deal with Covanta, a recycling company, has been suspended.

“You think oh, this will be easier, we can get this done faster, I understand why administrations consider that, but this can be the result,” said City Councilman Jeff Miller, (R - District 16).

The result is that the city is getting sued for entering into a no-bid contract with Covanta. The Ballard administration wanted to build a $45 million state-of-the-art recycling facility.

Hogsett pulled the plug, saying there’s not enough evidence to prove the facility would be in the best interest of the city.

“It’s very frustrating. I know as taxpayers, it is frustrating. I’m a taxpayer, for all taxpayers listening, it’s frustrating to hear that. I hope we can learn from this,” said Miller.

All these contracts are starting to add up.

  • $10 million of city money is gone after three years of missed deadlines and failed contracts with InterAct, a company that promised to bring a new, state of the art communications system to IMPD.
  • $12 million of city money is gone after months of closed door contracts to plan for a new criminal justice center that for now, won’t be built.
  • $6 million of city money was taken from the city parking meter fund to pay for a Blue Indy project City Council was never sold on.

“It’s worth an investigation by the city prosecutor, if not then by the Attorney General of the state of Indiana,” said City Council Vice President Zach Adamson (D - District 17).

Adamson is so fed up with lost money and a lack of accountability, he’s calling for an investigation into why multiple, no-bid city contracts have been entered into without approval from city council.

“The reason we have divided power is so that one person or one branch of government doesn’t have overreaching control of the resources of the public,” said Adamson.

For now, the Hogsett administration has said they will keep the Covanta contract suspended and study for the next 90 days what the best move is to obtain a city recycling contract.

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