Under the resolution reducing the City’s contribution to Visclosky’s West Lake Extension, the City will see at least $3M in funding stay within the City for repair of roads, bridges and other economic development projects.
March 21, 2017-Just moments ago the City of Gary Common Council unanimously approved a resolution reducing the contribution the City will provide to Congressman Visclosky’s West Lake Extension Plan. The Council also unanimously supported a resolution opposing Hal Slager’s House Bill 1144 which would allow the un-elected Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority to create transit development districts throughout the region. Mayor Freeman-Wilson joined in the resolution calling House Bill 1144 “troubling.” Council President Brewer stated the bill “would devastate our city.” The move comes just days after the Gazette exclusively reported that Town of Munster Officials said House Bill 1144 would create a “shadow government.” Gary Council Member LaVetta Sparks-Wade referenced the Munster comments in her statement. The Munster Town Council is 100% Republican and the Gary Town Council is 100% Democrat.
Under the resolution reducing the City’s contribution to Visclosky’s West Lake Extension, the City will see at least $3M in funding stay within the City for repair of roads, bridges and other economic development projects. Gary becomes the second municipality to reduce the contribution requested by Congressman Visclosky after Merrillville did so just last week. Congressman Visclosky retorted that a court would decide whether or not the reduction was valid.
Other Cities and Towns may follow the visionary leadership of Gary and Merrillville and reduce their pledges to Visclosky’s pet project which provides no benefit to their communities. Lake County Councilman Jamal Washington publicly asked last month whether the County could reduce their pledge which will likely top $100M. Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott, Jr. has publicly state that he no longer supports the project with the current funding mechanism. Hammond has not yet signed on to the agreement and, thus, could reduce the pledge at any time.
House Bill 1144 passed the Indiana House and is now in the Senate. We urge you to make your thoughts known regarding the bill by writing to:
Senator Rick Niemeyer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Melton at email@example.com
Senator Tallian at firstname.lastname@example.org
And Committee Chair Brandt Hershman at Senator.Hershman@iga.in.gov