My View: David Forsell
Indianapolis, IN (August 9, 2007)- The prospect of eliminating city funding to Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Inc. (KIB), as mentioned by Brendan O’Shaughnessy Aug. 6 (“Residents, candidates suggest ways city can easily stop spending as much”), could have serious consequences for our city’s quality of life, and solid returns on local taxpayers’ investments would be lost.
City government contracts with KIB to provide services to neighborhoods, such as the creation of beautiful neighborhood gateways and pocket parks created on vacant lots; community tree plantings; voluntary recycling efforts; and the cleanup of millions of pounds of litter throughout the city.
KIB is a good financial investment. As a nonprofit, charitable organization, KIB is able to stretch taxpayer dollars by securing private contributions and supporting volunteers in large numbers.
The city’s contract pays KIB up to $325,000. In 2006, for every city contract dollar that supported KIB activities, KIB secured more than $7 in private resources. This includes $280,000 in private cash donations and nearly $2 million in contributed goods, services and volunteer hours.
In 2006, Indianapolis residents devoted 125,000 hours of volunteer time to these programs. This is the equivalent of 60 full-time employees, to whom taxpayers did not have to pay a dime.
Second, KIB is a good community investment.
In 2006, KIB managed more than 500 community improvement projects with more than 28,000 volunteers. Green spaces and trees improve air and water quality, improve health, and yes, even help reduce crime. Neighbors are empowered, seeing the tangible difference they make, from the smallest pocket park in the toughest neighborhood to the mile-long beautification of Binford Boulevard. Through these programs, blight is eliminated and bonds are strengthened as people work together for the common good.
We’re grateful for the city’s partnership and proud of our results. The city’s stake in KIB’s programs is a good investment for local taxpayers.
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful