Committee approves $15 million for street repairs, snow removal costs

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – After a tough winter, an Indianapolis City-Council Committee has approved an extra $15 million to help the Department of Public Works.

The issue now moves to the full City-County Council.

The committee approved $7 million for unexpected snow costs, after all that snow, salting, and overtime costs. That $7 million will come from the Transportation General Fund.

The committee also approved another $8 million for emergency street repairs and resurfacing. That money will come from a Consolidated County Fund, and a Rebuild Indy sub-fund.

Department of Public Works officials say they’ve identified main thoroughfares, that after this winter, are in need of more than just pothole patching, to the tune of $24 million.

Right now, they’re only asking for that $8 million though, to get them started.

DPW engineers say they originally prepared a list of what they call the “worst of the worst” and most traveled roads.

Committee members asked DPW to go back to the drawing board, and Thursday, a different list was approved. Officials say the street repairs now represent the worst of the worst, by district.

This got some talking in the committee meeting Thursday.

“To change the list, and inject the politics of it, I think is not something we need to do for the people in our community,” said Jack Sandlin, (R- City County Councillor).

Others mentioned they weren’t happy the $1.6 million project to repair Washington Street from Southeastern to Emerson, was removed from the latest list.

“It’s a fair and equitable distribution of taxpayer money. Everybody’s not going to be pleased. There’s a $24 million need, and $8 million of available resources. So two-thirds of the people on that list aren’t going to be happy,” said Vernon Brown, (D- City County Councillor).

“We’re thankful,” said Department of Public Works Director Lori Miser. “It’s a drop in the bucket, considering what we need, and obviously need more money to continue our infrastructure projects, but this is a start in the right direction.”

“We have a $1.5 billion infrastructure need, so we know there’s a huge need,” added Miser.

The issue now moves to the full City-County Council, who will debate this again.

DPW is hoping, if approved, they could hit the streets in mid to late summer.

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