Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

January 17, 2014

Funding plan for Natatorium upgrade draws heat

The Associated Press

Indianapolis — A proposal for Indianapolis to give Indiana University nearly $10 million to help renovate its three-decade-old Natatorium is running into opposition from local Democrats.

City-County Council vice president John Barth says providing IU with $9.5 million to upgrade the swimming and diving complex would be "a hard pill" for Marion County taxpayers to swallow.

Barth and other council Democrats want IU or the state to pay for most of the $20 million upgrade, saying it's needed partly due to insufficient maintenance planning for the 31-year-old building.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, a Republican, tells The Indianapolis Star he's "baffled" by Democratic council leaders' resistance to the plan. Ballard says it's a natural extension of Indianapolis' decades-long investment in sports.

The Natatorium will host the 2016 U.S. Olympic diving trials.