Group urging city leaders to vote for funding The Landing

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Some Fort Wayne City Council members said they’ve had an influx of e-mails asking them to vote in favor of funding The Landing redevelopment project. An organization called the Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana (YLNI) is leading the final push before Tuesday’s vote.

The city is asking for $2.5 million from the Legacy fund to help complete construction. The project will preserve several historic buildings and create apartments and space for businesses and restaurants along Columbia Street.

City officials say it will help the local economy by adding money and jobs to the area. John Felts, of YLNI said fixing up Columbia Street falls directly in line with their mission.

“A revitalized Landing would only help bring more young professionals and emerging leaders to downtown Fort Wayne,” said Felts.

Felts put out a call to action, urging its 300 members to e-mail council members and tell them to vote yes. Felts said it didn’t stop there. The group posted a Facebook post encouraging others to do it, too.

“They could be getting a lot of e-mails and call of over the next 24 hours,” he said.

Councilman Geoff Paddock said he received more than a dozen, while Councilman Jason Arp said he’s got 14 of them. Councilman Michael Barranda said his inbox was flooded.

Even though there’s a lot of excitement about the project, Councilman Tom Didier wrote that he’s being cautious. He is concerned with how the city will pay back the money if the proposal is passed.

Regardless, Felts said he is optimistic about Tuesday’s vote and says a ‘yes’ vote would be a step in the right direction for young people across the area.

“Millennials have become one of the largest generations in America,” said Felts. “So we need to continue to reach out to them and give them all the resources.”

There is about $27 million dollars left in the Legacy Fund. If approved, construction on The Landing should be finished by September of next year.

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