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Doden: LEAP Project needs independent water study, more transparency

Doden criticizes LEAP project water report

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A leading candidate for governor told News 8 he has deep concerns about the methodology behind a water quality study for the LEAP District.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation recently signed a $10 million contract for a water pipeline to feed the LEAP District in Boone County. A study commissioned by the agency showed an aquifer near the Wabash River could cover the site’s water needs. Republican candidate Eric Doden, who served as president of the IEDC under Gov. Mike Pence, said the agency should make all of the data it collected available to the public and ask for an independent agency to conduct its own review.

“We just have deep concerns about this project and the methodology behind it,” Doden said in an interview for All INdiana Politics. “Using taxpayer dollars from a quasi-government agency to buy land, kind of competing with the private sector, concerns us.”

Doden said he doesn’t know enough about the project to say whether the state should pause it. He said he’s excited about Lilly’s recent investments in Boone County, but the project hasn’t had enough transparency or accountability.

News 8 also asked Doden if recent protests against book bans, including an event this week featuring author and Indianapolis native John Green, are a sign Republicans have gone too far in trying to ban certain books from libraries. Doden said “there needs to be some common sense” about what books are available to children. He said parents want to understand what is being taught to their children and what books are being made available to them.

All INdiana Politics airs at 9:30 a.m. Sunday on WISH-TV.