The Westfield City Council unanimously approved a motion by Council President Mike Johns to revoke a proposed ordinance to terminate the interlocal agreement between the Indiana Dept. of Transportation and Ind. 32. Because of the unanimous vote, the agreement will remain in place.
Johns said because he established the ordinance, he could make a motion to withdraw the ordinance, which requires a unanimous vote from the council. Before he asked for a vote, Johns provided his reasoning for invoking the ordinance in the first place.
“I’d like to give everybody an update as to why we had the ordinance introduced initially and the progress we made and where we stand today,” Johns said.
The ordinance was proposed May 10 after Johns said the council did not receive information requested from the city’s administration or INDOT regarding updated cost estimates for the project.
“Let me be perfectly clear, each and every councilman supports the renovation and reconstruction of State Road 32,” Johns said. “Some may have disagreed on the preferred design, but we are in total support of the project.”
Johns said he and other council members sought information on whether cost estimates for the project had increased in the 2 1/2 years since the interlocal agreement was originally approved by the council. He said he’s concerned the final cost of the project will be significantly higher than anticipated, as extra preservation efforts have already caused a $900,000 increase.
Johns said although the motion to terminate the interlocal agreement was revoked, the council will actively monitor the project through the finance committee. He also said the council will investigate any associated projects with Ind. 32 to ensure it has a process in place to fund those projects without the need to raise taxes.
Mayor Andy Cook said he took exception to much of what Johns said during his presentation.
“I wish I had an opportunity to talk to you before your talk,” Cook said. “I think we could’ve gotten through a lot of those issues.”
For more, visit westfield.in.gov.