FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, City Controller Garry Morr and City Council, announced plans Thursday afternoon to fund additional public works, parks, and community health improvements with millions of unspent funds from 2020. The money was deferred because of the pandemic.

An ordinance is scheduled to be introduced at Tuesday’s City Council meeting detailing plans for $7.775 million in investments.

“What we did was sit down with City Council members, particularly district City Council members and asked them to help us determine what the priority were in their respective districts,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “In each district they have different needs and wants and desires. For example, councilman Geoff Paddock in the fifth district, he wants a lot more money in the alleyways.”

An estimated $7.2 million would be used for capital projects that didn’t get done in 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and financial uncertainties. There would be $6 million for public works neighborhood projects and $1.2 million to begin the first phase of the Franke Park master plan.

Projects that would be part of the public works neighborhood investments:
-White Oak Lane street rehab
-Harvester Community concrete street repairs
-Rothman Road sidewalk construction between St. Joe and Maplecrest roads (south side)
-Illinois Road sidewalk from Magnavox Way to Thomas Road (north side)
-Asphalt resurfacing
-Land acquisition for sidewalk projects
-Traffic safety projects
-Sidewalk rehabilitation
-Concrete alley reconstruction

Franke Park, which turns 100 in 2021, is the city’s largest park and one of the most popular. The Parks and Recreation Department will begin the design step of the first phase of Franke Park’s revitalization.

In addition, $375,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation to the City of Fort Wayne would be used to help Super Shot’s Building the Heart of Community Health capital campaign. Super Shot is working to expand health services to the community and create a permanent home for its operations as the agency works each day to safely vaccinate members of the community to protect individuals from illnesses and diseases.

Also, $200,000 from the ARPA allocation would go toward administrative fees to assist the City in utilizing professional expertise in overseeing how the remaining ARPA funds can and will be invested to make the most impact for the community. Fort Wayne is receiving $50.8 million, with half of the total coming this year and the remaining half next year. The funds must be utilized by the end of 2024.