CHICAGO -- Indianapolis plans to borrow $135 million to finance a citywide infrastructure campaign through 2016, Mayor Greg Ballard announced last week.

The 30-year bonds will be backed by a pledge of state transportation funding, which is expected to increase by $7.5 million a year under a new state gas tax formula, according to the mayor’s office. 

The borrowing proposal is expected to be introduced to the City-County Council on Monday.

The borrowing is part of Ballard’s Rebuild Indy program, which he launched in 2010 with part of the proceeds of the city’s $1.9 billion sale of its water and sewer systems to a private nonprofit utility, which marked the largest privatization of such assets to date. The utility agreed to take over the city’s $1.7 billion, 15-year environmental upgrade plan as part of the deal.

Ballard’s new capital plan totals $350 million and will include federal grants and state and local taxes in addition to the bond proceeds. The campaign will finance $102 million for street improvements and $100 million for sidewalks and bike lanes, among other projects.

“People want their infrastructure fixed, no question about that,” Ballard told The Indianapolis Star during a press conference announcing the plan last week. “The level we want to get to, I’m not sure if there’s enough money to get there. But we’ll give it a shot.”

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