The countdown is on. Mayor Steve Luecke will present his proposal to improve infrastructure, economic development and quality of life in South Bend. With a $9.1 million dollar price tag, others call it something else.
"I think it's a tough sell," said Common Council Member Oliver Davis.
Davis knows Mayor Luecke believes the projects in his proposal are necessary for future growth, but there are plenty of questions.
"The issue is, is this the time for us to do that," questioned Davis. "Should we delay this until next year's budget? That's the case that needs to be made."
The most important question, is this too much at one time?
"We've got a big cluster here," said Council President Derek Dieter. The President of the Council said if the mayor's bill is presented as one, it doesn't stand a chance.
"Every council member has different things and I think if the mayor wants to proceed, I think he's going to have to bring each issue up separately," he said.
There are three projects that will face a challenge from council. Among them:
- $700 thousand dollar project to replace the pedestrian bridge over Chapin Street.
- $1-million dollar purchase of the former Transpo Maintenance facility on Northside Boulevard for riverfront housing.
-$1 million dollar purchase of the Family Dollar location near the future Saint Joe High School campus, which, some argue, needs support.
"The family dollar has got to go. that's all there is to it," said John Dauss, of South Bend.
Here's what can happen tonight:
Mayor Luecke can present his entire proposal or pieces of his proposal for approval.
The series of projects would then be open to discussion.
Council members will then make a recommendation to support some of it, all of it or simply no recommendation.
They also have the power to reduce some of the funding, in the proposal.
For example instead of spending a million to buy the Family Dollar property, members can recommend 500 thousand or even more or less.