Waynedale Political Commentaries


The Water Environment Federation, an organization of 36,000 members from around the world, selected Fort Wayne City Utilities for its 2014 Public Education Award in the category of organizations, groups and events. The award recognizes efforts to educate residents about water, sewer and environmental issues.

City Utilities was recognized for its public outreach materials on a variety of topics, such as rain gardens, composting, monthly utility bill stuffers, as well as outreach efforts at trade shows, community and neighborhood meetings, schools, internship partnerships and business partnerships such being a founding member and sponsor of the Northeast Indiana Sustainable Business Council.

City Utilities is a big reason we’re seeing unprecedented momentum in our community.

I also wanted to update you on the application process for the next round of the City’s Commercial Façade Grant program. Applications for the grants will be accepted from November 12-December 12. They are available online at www.fwcommunitydevelopment.org/facade  or by calling 3-1-1. Questions may also be directed to Aliza Tourkow, grants manager, at Aliza.Tourkow@cityoffortwayne.org.
I introduced this program seven years ago to provide local businesses the opportunity to apply for matching grants to improve the exteriors of their buildings.

Businesses are eligible for up to a $20,000 matching grant; multi-business or multi-tenant buildings are eligible for up to $40,000. Funding comes from the Community Economic Development Income Tax, or CEDIT fund.

Since 2008, 74 façade improvement projects have been completed or are in the process of being completed, generating a private investment of almost $4 million. We require applicants to provide dollar-for-dollar matching funds in order to receive the grant, but the program has been so successful that the City has leveraged $3 in private funds to every $1 of public funds (3:1 public/private leveraging).

The program makes funds available to businesses in the core of the City in areas designated as Economic Development Target Areas, or EDTAs. Through the program, grants are made to businesses to help offset the costs of façade renovations, signage, lighting, awnings, parking improvements, decorative fencing, and other enhancements owners want to make to the exterior of their property.

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