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Business owners concerned about trash, illegal activity near City Market

Posted at 8:33 PM, Jul 03, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — A push to increase cleanliness and safety downtown is underway after ongoing issues outside of the City Market.

Some business owners said they've seen excessive litter, open drug use, and fights.

The area outside of City Market looks clean but some vendors said it's a much different scene most mornings. Trash on the tables, trash on the ground, and people hanging in the area, starting fights or using drugs. It's something business owners inside City Market said is becoming more and more common and it's starting to impact their cash flow.

The owner of Circle City Sweets said the crowd and mess outside of City Market is causing some of her regular customers to think twice before coming inside. As a baker, she often works odd hours and said sometimes she doesn't even feel safe herself.

"This isn't just a perception that it might be dirty," Cynthia Hawkins, of Circle City Sweets, said. "It is dirty. This is not a perception that it is not safe. It is not safe. So this is a much bigger issue than just homelessness, it is open drug use, complete open drug use. People smoking spice on the steps of the City Market. People selling heroin and using heroin in our plaza."

Looking at police reports from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, there have been reports of theft, battery, trespassing, vandalism and narcotics investigations at this location all in the past two months. Other business owners inside City Market said something needs to be done.

"It's going to take more security, 24-hour security. It's going to take more money," Michael Gomez, of Gomez BBQ, said. "It's going to take a lot and it's going to be hard for that to just go into gear and happen. It's not going to happen overnight, I understand that, but that's what needs to be done."

It's something leaders with the City Market said they are looking into. They said they are working with IMPD and officers are doing more sweeps of the area. They said they've also added more lighting and are now working with other city organizations to brainstorm possible solutions.