Mayor Ballard talks recycling, potholes and crime - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Mayor Ballard talks recycling, potholes and crime

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INDIANAPOLIS - The city is taking on multiple initiatives to address key issues in our community.

One of the most recent is a recycling plan. Fewer have raised issue with adding a recycling program than the issue of who should bear the cost of that program.

"What we think we have found is an advanced recycling center that would allow recycling material through the trash so there would be no additional cost to the homeowner," explained Mayor Ballard during an interview on Eyewitness News at Noon Tuesday. "You could just put the trash out and we would be able to recycle much more of that material."

Those who currently separate their recycling would still be able to do so, according to Ballard, but pulling recyclable material from the main trash will yield up to five times more recyclable material overall.

Another big name in city projects that continues to surface is "Rebuild Indy 2." The project is still on track, though it is $50 million thinner than when it was first announced after the Council said they wanted to be more confident in the size of the bonds required to pay for it.

The newer $300 million version would pay to resurface every 'Priority 1' and 'Priority 2' street in the city, which the mayor said has never been done before. It will also pay for some new sidewalks, trails and alleys, though Ballard said the main concern of the project will be resurfacing roads to finally fix the damage done by the harsh winter. You can find a list of projects RebuildIndy 2 would tackle broken down by townships by clicking here. Just look on the right hand side of the page the link takes you to.

It would be impossible to have a real discussion about the issues and concerns facing Indianapolis without bringing up crime, especially with the blatant nature of the suspect in last week's Phillips 66 murder skipping away from the scene. Mayor Ballard brought attention to the Ten Point Coalition and the work they have done in five of the city's most crime-ridden zip codes, calling their work a "tremendous success." He then attributed the rise in murder this year to normal fluctuations seen by big cities.

"Two years ago, we were in the process of having murder rate below 100 [total murders committed] for three years in a row which had never happened before in our city," said Ballard. "So we had it down, then it popped up a little last year and now it's popping up even more this year. So cities go through these cycles."

He also said he does not believe the recent spate of crime will affect the city's ability to attract the large conventions and events that have helped build the city to what it is today.

"When VisitIndy does their surveys, panhandling is still the number one thing. Our downtown is largely safe where all the conventions are and that's been helpful. But it's maddening to the rest of the city, and they should be angry about it....There's a lot of effort going into it, as with other cities. This little subculture is just getting more aggressive and they escalate quickly now."

You can watch Mayor Ballard's entire interview in the video attached to this story. Click here if you don't see the video above.
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