It’s spring! That’s great news in many ways, but everyone in Fort Wayne knows that spring also brings the possibility of major rainstorms and flooding. The good news is that several measures are in the works to help with Fort Wayne’s chronic flooding problems. City Utilities has purchased 2 massive 12-inch high flow water pumps—the size we used to have to borrow from the EPA—for helping with problems such as high water in the Fairfield Ditch. A $million plus project is currently being designed for the junction of the Fairfield Ditch and the St. Mary’s River with one major goal—keeping water moving into the river and preventing backflow into the ditch which can threaten the Belle Vista area and other neighborhoods. Home buyouts are proceeding in repeatedly flooded areas such as along Winchester Road and in the Junk Ditch area near Covington Road. A high tech remote early warning system is in place to notify the city’s flood fighters when water is rising rapidly in rivers and streams in Allen County and even in adjacent counties. City Utilities is using our $3.65 monthly storm water fee to be much better prepared than in the past for fighting whatever storms may come our way.
I’ve received some calls about a possible increase in flood risk in areas such as the Winterset subdivision following a flood prevention project that is planned for the Woodhurst area across the St. Mary’s River. I’ve had more than one conversation with the engineers and City Utilities management who have told me that the Woodhurst project will not adversely affect the Waynedale area. However, I’m looking into this matter further at this time.
During the last couple of years folks who drive Bluffton Road south of Lower Huntington Road have expressed concern about confusing lane markings where Old Trail intersects Bluffton Road across from the Maplewood Road intersection. I’ve spoken with the traffic engineers who tell me that they are planning to “re-stripe” Bluffton Road now that the weather has warmed up.
As you’ve probably heard, City Council has been considering a resolution regarding possible local government restructuring. We’re working under an antiquated system of a city government with 75% of the county population within a county government with lots of duplication with city government. State law now allows the citizens of Fort Wayne and Allen County to reorganize local government if we wish to do so to prevent waste and duplication. At a City Council meeting late last month I made a motion to hold a public hearing on March 9 to hear what the citizens of Fort Wayne and Allen County think about local government reform. The motion passed with an 8-1 vote but some City Council members were pretty upset by the idea. I’ll stick by my motion and my vote—I believe that elected officials should always be open to hearing what their constituents think!
Give me a call with any suggestions as to how we can make Fort Wayne a better place to live, work, play, get an education, and retire!