FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — In August, Fort Wayne City Council approved funds for some select projects from a list that the mayor’s office provided.
Those funds came as a function of state funds the City of Fort Wayne received.
Only select projects were chosen from the list because councilmembers weren’t satisfied with how the money was being divided at the time.
“There have been no conversations between the administration and city council to work on identifying priorities for the projects Mayor Henry proposes funding with the additional tax rebates. I’m frustrated because we never get asked for input on these matters, but we always get asked to pay the bill,” said 3rd District Councilman and mayoral candidate Tom Didier in a statement back in August.
The remaining total — nearly $11 million dollars that weren’t approved — was put before City Council to look at Tuesday, with revised projects.
“How can we work this out so there’s no overall winner and no overall losers,” said Deputy Mayor Karl Bandemer.
Since August when City Council held the money, the mayor’s office and other branches of the city have been working closely with each councilmember and district so that they could see more of the money, and in more impactful ways.
“I guess it was kinda fun,” Bandamer said about working together with all the departments to get the current proposal to the table. “Everybody was there, everybody had a role to play, everybody had to put their two cents and it was an open discussion.”
The plan that the city brought to City Council didn’t satisfy all councilmembers as it was given an 8-1 do-pass recommendation.
The only vote against the proposal came from 2nd District Councilman Russ Jehl, and while he admitted this was a step in the right direction, he said it still focuses too much on certain areas of Fort Wayne and doesn’t help everyone as much as it should.
“The bill has been improved, it is more balanced … it still just isn’t balanced enough,” Jehl said. “It’s being concentrated on a few blocks downtown even now, where we are investing more of these funds to buy new stuff downtown, tear it down rather than to fix the things that [are] broken around the city.”
These are the dollar amounts and changes from the original that were put before the council tonight in addition to new things added to tonight’s version of the ordinance:
|Projects||Original Request||Revised Amount|
|LED Street Lights||$2,000,000||$1,000,000|
|Pontiac Street Phase 2||$900,000||$900,000|
|I-69 Welcome Sign||$750,000||$750,000|
|2nd Floor Grocery Store||$500,000|
|Concrete Street Repair||$2,400,000|
|PropeNeighborhood Improvement Grants||$100,000|