Waynedale Political Commentaries


Our City continues to garner recognition for the great things happening in our community. This time, we’re being recognized at the international level.

The City of Fort Wayne’s Commercial Façade Grant Program has earned the Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council — the world’s largest non-profit organization serving economic developers.

Our Façade Grant Program is transforming the commercial corridors in the heart of our community. It’s strengthening neighborhoods and encouraging job growth. I’m pleased that an international economic development organization sees the value of this program and how it can be replicated in cities across the United States.

The City of Fort Wayne’s Commercial Façade Grant Program is a dollar-for-dollar matching grant that provides up to $20,000 to single-tenant buildings and $40,000 to multi-tenant buildings. These grant projects revitalize the exterior of older buildings in the core of the City, transforming them into vibrant commercial gems. Since my administration kicked off the Commercial Façade Grant program in 2008, 63 façade improvement projects have been completed or are in the process of being completed, generating a private investment of nearly $3 million.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted from November 13 through December 13, 2013; they are available online now at www.cityoffortwayne.org/commercial-programs.html or by calling 3-1-1.

On another note, I recently announced that Karl Bandemer has been appointed as Deputy Mayor for the City of Fort Wayne. Karl will begin his duties as Deputy Mayor on Monday, October 28.

Karl has nearly 40 years of experience in local government and business. Since 2010, he’s served as vice president of downtown development for the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance, now known as Greater Fort Wayne Inc. In his role with Greater Fort Wayne Inc. and the Downtown Development Trust, Karl was instrumental in the recent announcement of the $71 million project planned for downtown with Ash Brokerage and Hanning & Bean Enterprises.

He has also served as the City’s economic development director and has had experience in the private sector with leadership positions at Sturges Development Group and Northill Corporation. In addition, he’s worked for the Region 3A Development and Regional Planning Commission, United Way of Allen County, and the Northeastern Indiana Regional Coordinating Council.

Karl is a public servant who’s committed to helping make our City the best that it can be. His leadership skills, experience in government and expertise in economic development are unique qualities that will complement our efforts to engage, innovate, and perform to position Fort Wayne as a destination place for business growth, jobs, a great quality of life, and strong neighborhoods.

And, finally, please note that Trick-Or-Treating hours in the City of Fort Wayne will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 31. Police officials advise citizens not to eat candy until it has been inspected, be prepared for inclement weather conditions and avoid treat-or-treating alone.


Tom Henry - Fort Wayne Mayor

A lifelong Fort Wayne resident, Mayor Thomas C. Henry is committed to public and community service. He was elected to his first term as Fort Wayne's Mayor November 6, 2007. Mayor Henry authors the "Message from the Mayor" column. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer