I recently had the opportunity to tour the newly expanded Grand Wayne Center. The expansion, which was jointly funded by city, county, and private dollars, is progressing well. Meeting space will increase from 25,000 to 50,000 square feet which will help bring larger conventions to our city with considerable economic benefit. Some organizations too large to be accommodated by the old facility are already booking the Grand Wayne Center for the coming months. This project will be a major boost for Fort Wayne including our downtown that is improving every day
Recently there was a debate at the City Council table that involved the rejuvenation of Southtown Mall shopping center. Some council members felt that the city was being overly generous to the Menard’s store planned for Southtown when the proposal was made to waive approximately $20,000 in City Utility hookup fees. Since Menard’s is plowing MILLIONS of its own dollars into Southtown and has made a commitment to Southtown which NO other similar developer has made, I felt that they deserved a hookup waiver in response to their commitment. Despite seemingly endless legal battles I’m committed to battle those who are attempting to scuttle the Southtown process and to see the project through to a successful conclusion. Let me know your thoughts!
You’ll soon be hearing more about an upcoming $35 million CEDIT (County Economic Development Income Tax) bond being brought before City Council. The goal of this bonding process is to make funds available upfront for economic development. We’re still affected by the national economic slowdown and providing additional incentives to businesses now rather than later will help bring more jobs to Fort Wayne. Dollars generated by the CEDIT bond will also be used to improve major roads and streets as well as neighborhood infrastructure. Interest rates remain very low and the costs of this bonding process should be reasonable considering the benefits to Fort Wayne citizens.
A couple of other items: Thanks to Gio’s Restaurant on Bluffton Road for working with public safety officials and also doing some remodeling with the goal of making it possible for Gio’s to be financially successful with minimal impact on surrounding residential areas. Also, I recently spoke with Lakeshore Neighborhood Liaison Officer Cornell Wiley regarding some home break-ins in a Waynedale neighborhood to which he responded. While “The Waynedale News” area is a low crime area it still makes sense to follow basic security measures to protect your family, home and car or truck. If you see suspicious activity be sure to call the Fort Wayne Police Desk at 427-1222 or call 911 if you believe a possible emergency situation exists.
I continue to consider it a privilege to serve as your City Councilman. Call or email me if you have any questions or suggestions. Thanks!
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