Planetarium funding delayed again amid concerns over Legacy Fund

Local News

Science Central’s Planetarium project has hit a road block again, and again, it is concern over the state of Fort Wayne’s Legacy Fund. 

That concern prompted City Council to table a discussion on using money from the Legacy Fund to help get the project off the ground. The same discussion was tabled in April as well. 

“It certainly is a long process, but I’m a patient person,” Science Central Executive Director Martin S. Fisher said. “My staff and my board and my entire organization are very patient. We want to make sure that we’re both following proper procedure and that we have a fine, quality, educational, STEM-related product at the end. So, we’re patient. We can wait.” 

A city ordinance pushes the Legacy Board to keep the Legacy Fund above a $30 million threshold. Some City Council members are concerned approving the $500,000 grant to the planetarium would put the fund below that threshold, but City Councilman Geoff Paddock who is also on the Legacy Board said the fund is still in good shape. 

“We have funding that has been expended for a number of projects,” Paddock said. “But some of those are loans so the money that’s been loaned for some of those is going to start to come back to us.” 

The discussion was originally tabled in April. Councilman Paul Ensley was the first to propose tabling the discussion until concerns and questions about the Legacy fund could be addressed. He was not at Tuesday night’s board meeting which led to most Council members questions remaining unanswered, thus leading to another tabling. 

Paddock said depending on what expenditures future city councils make with the money, the Legacy Fund should reach about $50 million by 2025. He also said reports from Electric Works officials next week will help give Council a better idea of where exactly the Legacy Fund is right now and what it can and cannot support. 

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