INDIANAPOLIS—Unlike a lot of cities Indianapolis is not broke or on the verge of big tax hikes said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard at the Indianapolis Museum of Art Wednesday night. But like a desperate man it's literally clawing for every dime it can find.
The theme of the speech focused on public safety, job creation, and making Indianapolis a "21st century urban environment." The mayor kicked off the good news early in his hour long address.
"I am pleased to announce that Stericycle, an Indianapolis based provider of medical waste disposal services, is expanding its operations in our city and creating 109 new jobs by the end of 2010."
According to the mayor, the city will also invest $3.5 million in its main economic development arm to scare up jobs and ask the city county council to come up with another $5.5 million on its own. When it comes to the beleaguered convention industry there's another $1.5 million there for promotion.
How to pay for the promised spending?
"Later this month I will ask the Metropolitan Development Commission to begin the process of revoking a number of tax abatements representing the potential for $5.5 million."
Navistar - the east side diesel engine plant - was slated to be closed despite all the tax breaks it got. Ballard said Navistar has agreed to stay open, but can't deliver all the jobs it promised and instead will pay back $5 million in tax breaks it got in incentives.
And the mayor promised to swing for the fences again at the Indiana General Assembly with another attempt to pass his Unigov 2.0 plan to eliminate township government.
Ballard also touted the lowering of the homicide rate from 2008 to 2009, thanking former Public Safety Director Scott Newman and new Public Safety Director Dr. Frank Straub for their service.
Devon Llewellyn contributed to this report.