Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard last week announced a plan to build a $15 million parking garage financed in part with proceeds from the $20 million the city received by leasing its parking meters for 50 years. The city last week announced the selection of a developer and operator of the new mixed-use parking development. The lot will have 350 spaces, retail space, and a police substation.

Of the $15 million cost, the city will provide $6.35 million. The lease agreement requires that all up-front cash proceeds be used to finance infrastructure projects in three areas of the city, including downtown. The lease deal gave control of the 3,669 city-owned parking meters for 50 years to Affiliated Computer Services Inc., a Dallas-based parking technology company owned by Xerox.

The agreement gave the city $20 million in up-front cash and a 30% share of the first $7 million in annual revenue and 60% after that. Ballard has estimated the deal would generate $620 million for the city over the 50-year life of the lease.

In related news, Ballard said last week he will ask the state to give him control over seven failing Indianapolis public schools and transform them into charter schools. The mayor oversees the city’s 23 charters, while Indianapolis Public Schools controls the public system.

The mayor in August will petition the Indiana Board of Education to give him control over the city’s failing schools, a proposal he dubbed a compromise between continued failure and total state takeover. Ballard said it was premature to petition for control of all city schools, as some have called for.

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