|Proposed Criminal Justice Center|
After months of furious debate, the $1.75 billion criminal justice center seems likely to go out not with a bang, but with a whimper.
City-County Council Republicans on Monday opted not to call for a vote on the facility, instead allowing the clock to run out on a contractual deadline.
As a result, Marion County’s aging, crowded jail facilities are likely now a problem for future leaders to solve. Barring an eleventh hour deal, the proposed criminal justice center will effectively be shelved until after the Nov. 3 election.
When he announced the winning bidder in December, Mayor Greg Ballard promised that the 35-year deal to build and maintain the facility would cost less than what the county already spends to keep its aging facilities running. But a second opinion commissioned by the council argued that the projected savings would fall nearly $38 million short over the first nine years of the contract, leaving taxpayers on the hook for the difference.