FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Three Fort Wayne parks and a stretch of Pontiac Street could get a shot in the arm thanks to American Rescue Plan dollars.
Fort Wayne City Council on Tuesday advanced a spending plan for the city’s ARPA funds.
Under the plan, $2 million would go toward the proposed grocery store planned for the old Vincent Village Outlet Store on Pontiac Street, and $1.7 million more would be used to improve the streetscape in the area and improve pedestrian access.
In its plan for the ARPA funds unveiled in March, the city said it hoped to develop a neighborhood market in southeast Fort Wayne – a food desert – to have ” a positive impact on health conditions, job opportunities, and well-being of the neighborhood.”
City of Fort Wayne spokesman John Perlich recently shared the vision for the proposed grocery store, which included a yet-to-be-named partner who would operate the store.
In response to the request for funding moving forward Tuesday night, Perlich shared this statement with WANE 15:
“The City of Fort Wayne continues to be encouraged by the support from City Council and the general public as we work to bring a much needed full-service grocery store with healthy food options to southeast Fort Wayne. We’re continuing our work with a community partner to bring the project to fruition with work hopefully starting later this year.”
The plan advanced by Council Tuesday night also includes $5 million for improvements at Franke Park, the city’s largest park. The dollars would be used to create a new entrance to the park to address traffic flow around the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, and rework the parking areas to provide more spaces and alleviate congestion. A new “pedestrian circulation system” is also planned, including work on hiking and mountain biking trails, and a bike park.
The plan also includes $2 million for Brewer Park at Pettit Avenue and Weisser Avenue, and $1.8 million for Packard Park at Fairfield Avenue and Packard Avenue. The city planned to improve its neighborhood parks – which it said provide “a safe space where youth and families can gather – with amenities like “playgrounds, a splash pad, covered pavilion, restrooms, walking paths, sport fields and courts, gardens and more.”
“The goal of the planned improvements to various neighborhood parks are to build social capital and neighborhood cohesion,” the city said in March.
Council is expected to vote on the plan for the ARPA dollars next Tuesday.