COUNCILMAN’S CORNER

The winter flood of 2005 proved to be a major challenge for citizens who were affected as well as volunteers and city employees who helped fight the flood. Having personally felt the brunt of a flood a couple of years ago, I’m well aware how much stress and misery are associated with having a basement or living room full of water. Fort Wayne’s Emergency Operations Center is steadily improving its ability to pre-determine who will be hit by flooding so the city and individual homeowners can take preventive measures. I was happy to hear that the Army Corps of Engineers is seriously looking at recommending that a series of dikes be constructed along the St. Mary’s River and the Fairfield Ditch. There are still many hurdles to overcome when it comes to flood prevention and response in Fort Wayne, but we are making some real progress.

I’ve received many calls expressing opposition to the proposed housing development north and east of Dautz Florist on Ardmore Avenue, known as “Tiffany Heights.” I have major concerns regarding the potential effects of this project on traffic, storm water drainage, and other factors. Tiffany Heights as proposed is basically a densely populated housing complex dropped into the middle of a single-family residential area. I am also concerned that housing projects of this type are being driven more by tax credits for developers than by actual need for additional housing. I believe that Tiffany Heights should be put “on hold” until these issues are addressed. By the time you read this column the Plan Commission will probably have voted on this project, which will not be voted on by City Council.

There has been a recent flurry of planned business expansions accompanied by new jobs in Fort Wayne and Allen County. The largest of these is GM’s plan to invest $175 million in the local truck plant with the addition of 200 more jobs. City and County governments are adding incentives such as job training and tax abatements to encourage the creation of these jobs. Several of these businesses are adding 20-30 new jobs each. Hats off to the Economic Development Alliance for their hard work on behalf of the citizens of Fort Wayne and Allen County and the Chamber of Commerce. By the way, congrats also to Waterfurnace International in the Waynedale area for their recent business successes and thanks for the recent tour of your plant!

I was sorry to hear about the fire on Ideal Avenue on January 26 that affected several businesses. I was happy to see that the owners of Summit Sweeping were able to save several trucks and several jobs through quick action with the help of the Fort Wayne Fire Department…Nice Job!

Call or e-mail me if I can help with any problems affecting our city or if you have any constructive suggestions to make Fort Wayne an even better place to live. Keep warm!

 

Tom Hayhurst
City Councilman
Fourth District
432-8418
tomhayhurst@verizon.net

The Waynedale News Staff

Tom Hayhurst

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