A concerned reader urged me to look into the address of Mayor Greg Ballard's speech backdrop today to, as the Indianapolis Star put it, "plead" for the passage of the transfer of the water and sewer utilities from the City of Indianapolis to Citizens Energy Group.
The location from the Mayor's Office for today's proceedings was a supposedly abandoned house at 825 Eugene Street. Turns out, that house is not abandoned: it's just vacant.
A search of Marion County Treasurer Mike Rodman's website shows the burnt out shell of a home that has no roof belongs to Archie Wells, Sr. and is current on its property taxes.
From the website:
Address: 825 EUGENE ST
INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46208
Owner Name: WELLS, ARCHIE P SR
Parcel Number: 1042337
Current Tax Due: $0.00
Wells also apparently owns the house next door at 819 Eugene. I was able to track down a phone number for an Archie P. Wells, and I have left a message at that number. I will update this posting if I hear back from Mr. Wells.
Let me stress that this is not an indictment of Mr. Wells. I have no idea of the situation behind the current state of the home there at 825 Eugene. All I'm saying here is that the home is owned, and the taxes are current.
Hardly the "abandoned unsalvageable" home promised by the Mayor's Office to the media.
Here are some of the local media takes on the story. Again, as expected, they have picked up the Mayor's story and did not dig any deeper.
WRTV's story is here.
WTHR's story is here.
WIBC's story is here.
Finally, here is the Indianapolis Star's take.