The recent passage of a two-year state budget by the Indiana General Assembly includes several measures that will help Fort Wayne retain and gain jobs. The extension of property tax abatements for new manufacturing, research and development is very important. This will expand the current tax abatements that are currently given to economic revitalization areas. The extension of tax increment financing (TIF) will also assist Fort Wayne. TIF and tax abatements are two important economic development tools that help the City attract quality jobs.
The budget also provides funding assistance for the Regional Police and Fire Training Academy that will be built at Southtown Centre. The City has already committed $8 million to $10 million for the project, which is projected to cost between $18 million and $25 million. This now finalizes the financing package for the Regional Training Academy. We’re excited about the tremendous possibilities to train police, fire and homeland security personnel from all over the region.
We’re excited about the completion of the expansion of the Grand Wayne Center. The expanded center will host a variety of national conventions each year. The new center has the capability to connect up to 1,400 computers to the Internet at a time through wireless and hardwired options. Our goal is to be the most digital downtown of any city in the country.
The Fort Wayne Clerk’s office Online Violation Payment System is now available for public use at www.cityoffortwayne.org. Violations that can be paid online include parking tickets, animal control, department of health, false alarm, fire department, open container, skateboarding where prohibited, abandoned vehicles, neighborhood code, and solid waste. There is a convenience fee of 30 cents per transaction plus 2.5% of the fee being paid.
This new technology initiative continues our commitment of providing online services rather than having you wait in line. Investments in innovation will help us retain and gain jobs and be recognized as a technology leader in local government.
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