Have you ever found a $20 bill in your pocket that you had forgotten about or received a tax refund that you really didn’t expect? The first impulse in these cases is usually to go out and spend the money on something fun. You might not think too much about how you spend it.
On the other hand, think about a check you might have received for interest on an investment, a stock dividend or an inheritance. If the money was earned through your own careful investing or a family member’s careful planning, you would probably take some time to consider how you spend the money. You might even consult your family and friends for suggestions.
The City of Fort Wayne is on the verge of receiving funds from Light Lease settlement with Indiana Michigan Power, totaling $39.2 million and around $36 million from the Community Trust Fund. Access to these funds has been made possible through the resolution of longstanding issues and careful stewardship of the Community Trust that was originally established through the foresight of former Mayor Ivan Lebamoff.
We find ourselves in a once-in-a-lifetime position to be able to make a significant investment in the future of our community. Though financial times are tough and we may be tempted to spend the money on an immediate need or want, our challenge is to look to the future, to think strategically, to be bold and to position our community for economic growth. Our responsibility today is to ensure that we use the money wisely for the future.
I’ve appointed a 15-member task force that will oversee Legacy Fort Wayne and will collect your ideas for using the funds. The group will serve in an advisory capacity, will investigate options, and seek public input before making recommendations to my administration.
The task force will be holding public meetings beginning in March, but I realize that not everyone can attend a public meeting. That’s why I’ve developed “Feedback Fort Wayne” as a way to give everyone in the community a voice in helping to decide how we will use this legacy fund. Feedback Fort Wayne is an online forum that gives you the opportunity to create, discuss and vote for ideas for how we should spend this money.
Using “Feedback Fort Wayne” is a way for you to participate in this important community conversation from your computer at home, at work, while traveling, or even wearing your bathrobe and slippers if that’s most convenient for you. I want to capture every idea and collect every thought. I hope you will let me know how you think the legacy funds should be invested by going to LegacyFortWayne.com and sharing your suggestions.
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