I recently had the opportunity to review the proposed financing for the Harrison Square project south of the Grand Wayne Center. The project would involve a new privately financed hotel, new housing and retail in the downtown area, and a new baseball park. The proposed project, which will be discussed in City Council meetings during the coming weeks, includes over $60 million in new PRIVATE investment in our downtown area. This will amount to approximately 60% of the eventual total cost of Harrison Square. Public funds proposed for the project would be primarily CEDIT funds and other tax funds “captured” for use in Fort Wayne–the latter category including dollars which would otherwise go to Indy for use throughout the state. No property tax funds will be used. The new baseball stadium will amount to about 1/5 of the entire project. IPFW is very interested in making good use of the current Wizard’s stadium. I’ll closely monitor information regarding this project as it becomes available during the coming weeks.  Let me know your thoughts regarding “Harrison Square”.

It has recently been recommended that a City-County project review board be created. Such a board would sign off on projects such as the Coliseum expansion or Grand Wayne Center expansion or Harrison Square–projects which would have significant tax impact on every taxpayer in the area. Instituting a review process of that type makes some sense to me. The problem with the board as currently envisioned is that it would be made up of appointed members who don’t have to answer to the voters on election day. Some form of this concept may eventually become a reality. There is no question in my mind that such an organization must be totally answerable to the taxpaying public.

As we’re all aware, it’s turned a bit colder in good old Fort Wayne recently. As usual, this has it’s pros and cons. I believe that the best approach is to go to a Komet’s hockey game, go cross-country skiing or ice skating, take the kids or grandkids sledding, enjoy NCAA basketball games, and make the best of the winter until the snow melts and the buds finally pop up in the spring. Not that it’s not nice to escape for a few days in midwinter to some place a bit warmer if possible.

Call or email me with any suggestions for making our city a better place to go to school, work, and play.

The Waynedale News Staff

Tom Hayhurst

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