I am pleased to report to you that I recently announced a $35 million plan to retain and gain jobs and make infrastructure improvements. The plan will be funded through a CEDIT (county economic development income tax) bond, not property taxes. The bond will free up $9 million and provide the city with flexibility in targeting new economic development projects that could bring jobs to the community. The use of CEDIT revenue is limited by state statue and city ordinance to economic development and infrastructure projects.
We are in a strong financial position especially at a time when municipalities across the country are laying off employees. We must compete to build a better city and retain and gain jobs. We are taking a bold step to show the community that we believe in Fort Wayne. We must believe in ourselves in order for great things to happen here.
The $35 million bond is broken into $10 million for economic development and downtown, and $25 million for infrastructure. One of the improvements that will be made is the extension of Ardmore Avenue from Indianapolis to Lower Huntington roads. This will provide a direct connection to Fort Wayne International Airport. Construction is expected to begin in 2005. This will provide tremendous economic growth opportunities for the southwest quadrant of our city. This bond will also allow us to continue our high levels of street paving, and we will be able to widen and rehabilitate our greenways and trails. The bond proposal must be approved by City Council.
It is a pleasure to share this great news with you. We are on the right track to building a better city that promotes job creation and retention.
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