More information recently became available regarding the proposed floodwall in the Woodhurst area and its potential to worsen flooding in areas such as Winterset and Broadview Terrace. As I understand it the study funded by the Maumee River Basin Commission confirms previous studies showing that there will be no significant effect on flooding on the west side of the St. Mary’s River when the Woodhurst flood prevention project is completed. One important reason for this is that the flood control staff and engineers have been actively buying out and demolishing properties in the floodway such as homes on Winchester Road and also the old ARC facility on Thompson Avenue. These sites are now available to store water when the river rises to flood stage. The City Council Flood Control Committee will hold its monthly meeting in the Omni Room on the 2nd floor of the City County Building at 4 PM on Tuesday, August 21st. The Woodhurst project and its implications for those who live near the river will be discussed in detail at that time and citizens will be able to ask city flood engineers questions at that time.

The Harrison Square project is moving forward steadily. The recent decision to upgrade the downtown Holiday Inn is probably due to the “catalyst” effect of the Harrison Square project. I’ve carefully reviewed all of the reams of material that city planners have provided to City Council members regarding Harrison Square. Various citizens and a few Council members have repeatedly asked for detailed data regarding the project—sometimes including non-existent information. When questions are answered including the cost of doorknobs, water faucets, etc., the response is that “not enough detail is being provided.” In other words, many of the demands for additional information are very questionable. Several things are very clear: the project will utilize millions of public dollars which would otherwise go to Indianapolis to be utilized in the 91 other counties in our state. $55-60 million of new private investment will be made in our downtown. Also, NO property taxes will be used for the Harrison Square project—don’t forget that as usual over 50% of property taxes are used for funding our excellent school systems.

It has come to my attention that lots of stolen goods are being pawned and sold through secondhand stores in a manner that is very difficult for the Fort Wayne Police Department to monitor. Many homes are being stripped of copper and thieves are even stealing catalytic converters from cars for the valuable metals they contain. We need to get a much better handle on this problem which is growing in Fort Wayne. I’m working with the FWPD and business owners and fellow Council members to address this problem.

Have a great summer and give me a call if you have any suggestions as to how we can make Fort Wayne a better place to live.

The Waynedale News Staff

Tom Hayhurst

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