FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Fort Wayne Mayor, Tom Henry recommended Tuesday that Legacy money should be spent on economic development, downtown development, the riverfront, and the city's youth. Right now, the fund has approximately $47 million, with an additional $28 million to come in over the next several years.
"I would like to extend a special thank you to the Legacy Task Force, Legacy Champion Teams, Legacy Finance Team, and the Mayor's Advisory Board. They have invested their time, talent and energy for the Legacy Fort Wayne initiative. Their commitment and dedication are to be commended," said Henry. "I also want to thank the countless number of people in our community who submitted ideas and proposals. By working together, we are moving our community forward in a positive direction. This has been a tremendous journey to think big and develop plans to bring about transformational change."
The following is a list of recommendations for each targeted area:
- Riverfront Development Plan and Implementation
- Downtown Opportunity Fund and Downtown Trust
- Downtown Area Higher Education Opportunity Fund
- Downtown Overpass/Underpass Beautification and Lighting
- Ewing/ Fairfield Conversion
- Trail development
Youth Development and Prep Sports
- Youth Sports Assessment/Market potential study and implementation
- McMillen Community Center
- Fort Wayne Education Endowments
- Fort Wayne Public Service/Social Service Endowment
- Entrepreneurship Endowment
- Downtown Public Art Endowment
Legacy Fort Wayne used several communication methods to get the public's input on the how the money should be spent.
"Legacy Fort Wayne asked each of us to look to the future, to think long term, to be bold. As a community, we took that challenge to heart. Each of the Legacy recommendations represents a unique opportunity to enhance Fort Wayne and better position us for growth. Each reflects our collective determination to build on our investments, build on our strengths and build on the promise of tomorrow. Each has the potential to be a real, true and lasting legacy," said Henry.
However, most members seemed to agree one of the first projects to tackle would be a study on the Riverfront.
"We've always had ideas on about what we can do on the Riverfront, but let's hope they're practical and doable, and this study will take us in that direction," said Tom Smith, city council president. "That's the first thing I would like to see the money spent on."
Questions were raised about the overall budget of these projects, and some councilmen were caught off guard by the answers they received.
"The surprising thing that came out was the amount of money that they're proposing to spend is substantially less than maybe I went in thinking," said Russ Jehl, 2nd District Councilman.
Legacy Fort Wayne was formed by Henry last year. It was designed to make decisions on how to spend money from the Fort Wayne Community Trust and City Light Least Settlement funds.
As part of Tuesday's announcement, Henry encouraged City Council to approve the Fort Wayne Community Trust Ordinance.
"Honoring the input of the public, the ordinance ensures the best stewardship of the Legacy funds, promotes their continued careful investment and management, and defines their catalytic role in community development," a release from the City of Fort Wayne said.
City Council will have a preliminary vote on the ordinance at it's November 6 meeting, and each week after, they will review a different project and vote on it.
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