City Council is currently considering possible increases in our water and stormwater rates. I’m concerned as are many Council members about an increase in these utility rates at a time when the state property tax relief fund (which helps hold down property taxes) has been cut and the city’s trash hauling fee has been increased. It’s important to point out that the proposed increase in the storm water fee ($1.45 more each month) would greatly benefit the south side of Fort Wayne including areas such as the Belle Vista and Dalevue neighborhoods by financing additional flood control measures. Council members are working with the mayor to figure a way to use some additional local income tax dollars which recently became available to give a break to Fort Wayne’s utility rate payers. Keep your eyes on The Waynedale News and other media outlets for further developments.

The expanded Grand Wayne Center is very busy and is bringing in lots of additional revenue to Fort Wayne when visitors patronize local businesses. More shops are opening up and new signage is in place to direct those who visit the downtown area to important sites such as the new library, the Arts United Center, the Historical Museum, and the Botanical Gardens. Downtown development is slowly becoming a reality. The biggest “gap” in the process at this time is that too few people actually live downtown. We’ll see if a downtown housing “boom” eventually happens. My prediction is that downtown Fort Wayne will become a magnet for retiring baby boomers who like the idea of living where the Civic Theater, Headwaters Park, and other venues are within walking distance. Time will tell!

Keep your eyes on the Indiana State Legislature during the upcoming “short session. Property tax relief should be a major focus. There may be an effort to reverse Indiana’s new daylight savings time law. Cherry masters may be legalized with taxation of the revenue. Let me know your thoughts about these issues but be sure to share your thoughts with those who will actually have a vote—our state legislators.

Have a great holiday season with your family and friends! Give me a call if I can help out with local government matters or if you have a suggestion as to how to improve our city!

The Waynedale News Staff

Tom Hayhurst

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