|Councillor Zach Adamson|
If you haven't been following this story, Chavez Properties and Parking out of Cincinnati won the approval of the Metropolitan Development Commission to build a parking facility on land along AmeriPlex Parkway just to the south of I-70 and very close to the airport. The airport, by essentially its own admission, filed suit to try to block the development to protect itself from the competition the new lot would provide.
That's right, a public entity blocking private business.
For the last few months, the legal fight has continued. Local community activists like fellow blogger Pat Andrews, Chip Pierson, and other folks involved with the Decatur Township Civic Council had enough and started looking for assistance. Because of their work, the City-County Council has been engaged throughout the process with Councillors Zach Adamson, Bob Lutz, and Jason Holliday all three speaking out strongly against the airport's tactics. Adamson just authored a proposal that would have opposed the airport's tactics that was to face the full Council on Monday night. It had 13 sponsors split nearly down the middle by party.
Amazingly, the airport decided to suddenly drop its case just three days before that proposal was to come before the Council. As Councillor Adamson suggested on Facebook, "Its not ironic at all that they announce this the day after my proposal to condemn their actions is introduced.. I'm sure they did it just to save the mayor the embarrassment of defending his indefensible position."
You see, Mayor Ballard had backed the Airport Authority in the case. As late as February, his Administration was telling me that the parking facility could hurt the entire county by hurting the Indianapolis International Airport's ability to raise revenue.
The parking facility would be on the tax rolls in Decatur Township bringing much needed relief to property tax payers. Much of the area around the airport is either non-taxable airport land or within a Tax Increment Financing zone. The parking facility is seen as a catalyst to spur development in the area which has largely seen stagnant development over the last two or three years after two hotels, the Purdue Research Park, and a Subway Restaurant quickly popped up.
This is another example of where Senate Bill 621 would have hurt Decatur Township. Without Councillor Adamson's dogged determination to help Decatur taxpayers, other Councillors might have lost interest and the airport would have continued its destructive lawsuit utilizing taxpayer money.