FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry on Thursday announced a wide-ranging neighborhood enhancement plan made possible through revenue distribution from the state of Indiana.
In a press conference Thursday morning, Henry said Fort Wayne will soon receive $3.86 million in additional revenue collected by the state through income taxes, over and above what was budgeted. Rather than funnel that money toward streets or other city moves that have already been budgeted for, Henry said the funds would be put in areas to improve quality of life in the city.
“We continue to move Fort Wayne forward with positive momentum and excitement,” said Henry. “Investing in neighborhood and quality of life programs will position us for future growth and success. It’s critical that we put residents first and demonstrate a strong commitment to ensuring we’re meeting the needs of the community.”
Here’s Henry’s plan:
- Launch the “Investing in Neighborhoods Now” program with $1 million, with $250,000 for each of the city’s four area partnerships for residents to make neighborhood improvements. The city’s Community Development Division will work with the area partnerships to ensure projects comply with city regulations and restrictions.
- The Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services’ Homeowner Repair Program, which provides heating, air conditioning or roof replacement, will receive $1 million to expand the homeowner repair program.
- The Commercial Façade Grant program will receive a $250,000 boost to add additional projects.
- The Fort Wayne Police Department will receive $300,000 to get new drug testing equipment to address the opioid epidemic.
- Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana, which provides support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, will receive $500,000 for vocational assessment and skills training, workforce development, and accessibility.
The remaining $610,000 will go into Fort Wayne’s cash reserves, Henry said.
City Council must approve the spending plan. Henry said a formal plan will be presented to the council for consideration in the coming weeks.