Delayed Indoor Sports Complex Could Begin Construction in Spring.
A $12.5 million indoor sports complex construction project in downtown Columbus, delayed for nearly a year, could finally begin in the spring.
That’s according to Mayor Fred Armstrong.
City officials are still waiting on word from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, which has ordered the site cleaned after it was discovered a creosote plant stood on the property before burning in the early 1970s. Last month the city received a $300,000 state grant to address the issue.
The Chicago-based company planning to build the facility, CAEC Team, has been in contact with the city’s Redevelopment Commission on a weekly basis. The city’s issues with IDEM withstanding, Armstrong says CAEC is also having issues with financing the project.
“If they were going to pull out altogether I’m sure they would have said that by now and we would go in another direction. But I think caution is the word and I think once they get their plan put together and presented to the bank, hopefully it will all work,” Armstrong said.
The complex is currently scheduled to open in November.
Trash Ordinance Passed, Recycling Issue Remains Unresolved
The Columbus City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday that will charge households for trash pickup but did not make a decision on curbside recycling. The measure passed with only one nay vote, despite dozens showing up to the meeting to voice their concerns.
Beginning January 1, households will choose between three different sized toters, the cheapest costing 10 dollars a month and the largest running 16 dollars.
The council has pledged to address curbside recycling in January. Armstrong, who himself only recycles some of his trash, says tipping fees at landfills do not push cities to pursue curbside recycling. He says the council will meet with council members after the New Year to present plans the council could potentially want to purchase for the city.
“The problem is we’ve got to come back now at a later date with accurate numbers. We’ve got four companies we’re going to be talking to. We’re going to make sure every t is crossed and every period is there at the end of the sentence to make sure we’re not off anything,” Armstrong said. “This is about money. Cities do not and will not have the money in the next couple of years.”
Columbus’s city budget has decreased 16 percent from two years ago, prompting the council to pursue a trash fee and potentially a recycling fee due to declining revenue brought about by changes in property tax laws.