Council Passes Pilot Program for Access to Quality Pre-K

August 19, 2014

August 18, 2014

Denise Herd

Council Passes Pilot Program for Access to Quality Pre-K
Council Funds 770 High Quality Slots

Indianapolis – Tonight the Council approved funding for a pre-K pilot program, which will add over 700 new pre-K slots for Indianapolis children.

The funds will be granted by the United Way to highly qualified providers of early childhood services within Marion County who will use those funds as their 50% match for the State of Indiana’s Early Education Matching Grant program.

“I very much support Proposals 162 and 163,” said Council Vice President John Barth. “We want to ensure this funding truly does make a difference. Access to quality pre-K instruction can provide at-risk students the jump start they need to succeed in grade school, throughout their school years, and in the workforce.”



Open Letter on Covanta from the Recycling Industries Coalition

August 6, 2014

Below is an open letter from The Recycling Industries Coalition (RIC), a group of organizations and corporations who have been engaged in the business of recycling for over one hundred years, expressing their strong concern about the Mayor’s Advanced Recycling Center proposal that will be before the Board of Public Works on Wednesday, August 6th.

Open Letter to the Mayor, City Council and the Board of Public Works

Mayor’s Recycling Contract Has it Backwards

August 4, 2014

Fine Print: $4M annual penalty through 2028 for improved service; city pays 70% of firm’s taxes

Indianapolis – Mayor Ballard’s proposed city recycling contract with Covanta has already drawn criticism as a step backward in efforts to improve recycling. It does not include glass, makes paper nearly impossible to recycle, and estimates show only an 18% recovery rate for recycled material, far below other Indiana cities and leading cities nationally. But there are some stinging financial burdens that make this a doubly bad deal for Indianapolis.

“Review of the contract fine print shows if the city finds a better way to recycle more material Indianapolis will have to pay Covanta $4 million a year through 2028 as a penalty,” said John Barth, Council Vice President. “Personally, I believe in our city and its residents – and I am confident we can find new ways to improve recycling in Indianapolis. But under this contract, our achievement would come with a penalty. We should reward ingenuity and innovation, not penalize it.”
And if that wasn’t enough, the city will also be obligated to pay 70% of Covanta’s property taxes for the life of the contract – in addition to the 100% we already pay for their current facility.

“The mayor’s proposed contract with Covanta is ‘lose-lose’ for the people of Indianapolis. To pick up the tab for 70% of Covanta’s tax bill on top of being penalized for performing well on recycling is a bad deal.”

The contract also discourages promoting recycling by reducing the city’s profit sharing if recycling curbside collection goes up more than 5% from the year before.
The Public Works Board will vote on the Mayor’s recycling proposal on August 6, 2014.
“I urge the mayor to hit the pause button on this backward looking contract that could cost the people of Indianapolis $4 million per year for improved service. I know we can do better – for taxpayers and for the environment,” said Barth.