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Waynedale Town Hall Notes: Saturday, June 15

Note: The Waynedale News is continuing to work with the City of Fort Wayne and presenters to develop a detailed synopsis of specific updates from the Waynedale Town Hall. In the meantime, the following notes were taken by a resident (too humble to wish to be named) who has been working with The Waynedale News’ staff to share an outline with those who are interested. The Waynedale News cannot guarantee the full accuracy of these notes. Full and verified information will be shared with the public via the printed newspaper and on our news website / social media when it becomes available.

The event was held at 10am on Saturday, June 15, 2024 at Waynedale United Methodist Church. No questions were taken during the meeting but attendees were encouraged to visit department representative tables to ask questions following the meeting. All presenters were amazed at the number of citizens in attendance. It was an usually high attendance for Community Meetings across the City.

AgendaWaynedale Town Hall

  • Mayor Tucker
  • Dr. Scott Myers – 4th District Update
  • City of Fort Wayne Division Updates:
    • Police
    • Public Works
    • Fire
    • Parks
    • Community Development
    • City Utilities

Mayor TuckerCity Of Fort Wayne

  • Welcome and encourage attendees to attend all such Waynedale meetings and let their voice be herd.
  • She is adding staff to Dan’s Development Department.

Scott Myers4th District City Councilman

  • A plan is being developed for Waynedale similar to the 2030 plan now in progress in the Packard neighborhood. There will be larger and smaller meetings for community input into the plan. All input will be implemented into technology that will prepare a plan.
  • Waynedale was founded in 1921 and 1959 was the last neighborhood plan. The 2017 survey results will be added to the upcoming input.

Deputy Steve HaffnerFort Wayne Police Department

  • Southwest Quadrant covers 35 square miles representing 70,000 people with 66 offices working 3 shifts.
  • A traffic division has been formed. A sergeant and 3 offices have been assigned.
  • One a month they target the Saturday night groups that meet and speed recklessly on streets and roads, including Lower Huntington Road.
  • He noted the truck traffic signs recently placed along Winchester Road. They will be moves around, probably next to Lower Huntington.
  • Dodge Durango vehicles have to added to the fleet.
  • Fort Wayne has a 90% homicide arrest rate.
  • This is compared to 30%-40% in some larger Indiana cities. Police from Indy, Evansville, etc. want to come to Fort Wayne to see how it is being done so successfully here.
  • (if you don’t know the non-emergency number) 911 can be the FIRST number to call whenever something seems out of the norm. Never hesitate to call 911 for anything suspicious that you see. Even if it results in nothing, CALL.

Shan GenawardenaPublic Works

  • Lower Huntington Bridge – completed Mid-July, 2024
  • Bluffton Road at Broadway – early July 2025 to 2026
  • Ardmore to Sandpoint turn lane delayed due to Utilities issue.
  • Currently in Design Mode:
    o Railroad Bridge to solve delays issue.
    o Airport Express Way bridge.
    o Ardmore – 4 lanes plus turn lane and trails on one side and sidewalk on the other side.
    o $35 – $50 million a year for street repairs – Street to be repaired are determined by the ‘PASER’ rating method. Streets are all categorized on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best. 1,2,3 are chosen for that year’s repair.
    o Alleys gained funding for the first time in 2017.
    o There are 120 miles of alleys at an average of 150 feet each.
    o 22 alleys are improved each year and are selected by number of homes and/or businesses served.
  • Sidewalks began receiving dedicated funding after 2017. The funding prior was a 50-50 split. He gave 2-3 year under design sidewalk plan and a long range plan but lost me in the rapid listing.
    • Lower Huntington project is difficult.
    • Shamrock to Thruway
    • Bluffton to Liberty
    • Mayflower to Foster Park
  • Not under design but in long range plan:
    • Sandpoint
    • Baer
    • Nuttman
    • Lower Huntington

Street Lights are being replaced with LED to save cost. There are 35,000 street lights and 50% have been replaced, reducing cost from 1 million to $750,000.

Eric LehayFire Chief for the last 10 years, but firefighter for 28 years.

  • The 96th recruitment class began in May, 2024.
  • If all graduate, it would add 30 new fire fighters.
  • There are 738 fire fights split over 3 shifts, covering 120sq miles.
  • Smoke detectors are free and will be installed by the department.
  • Fire department should be called first as they are “first responders”.
  • Department is working on getting ISO – which is a first rate standing
  • They are now holding #2 and desire to move to ISO which would save homeowners money on fire insurance.
  • The Bluffton Fire Station will be replaced (2025) and located on Lower Huntington where the radio stations were located. The extra land will become (1) solar fields or (2) a park and community center.
  • The same floor plan is being used as the new fire station on State and Reed Roads.

Scott McDanielDirector Parks & Recreation – 32 years with the department, last 6 years as Director

  • Comprehensive 10-15 year plan.
  • Requested citizen input by using websites: engagefw or the parks.
  • Foster Park Suspension Bridge.
  • Waynedale Park has been improved with more added in the future.
  • Waynedale Gardens improvement is in progress.
  • Space remaining at new fire station.

Jonathan LeistDirector Fort Wayne’s Community Development

  • Areas to oversee are numerous including codes, data center, HUD housing, landscaping improvements with $2500 grants available.
  • Waynedale Improvement – 18-24 months planning with development and investment during the next 10 years. Dedicated funding source is needed.
  • Rezoning of Bluffton, Lower Huntington, and Decatur Roads is in pro-active phase.
  • Waynedale Facade Project is Waynedale specific with $40,000 matching available. Only for commercial use.
  • Multi-tenant (business not housing) is current project.
  • Accessibility work is under a $20,000 grant.

Frank SuárezDirector of Public Information

  • There are 4,000 miles of underground pipes in Fort Wayne.
  • 1900’s – no newer or water main improvement.
  • Now age and weak materials allow for numerous breaks.
  • 9 miles a year is replaced.
  • Storm water drains are a problem with over 900 complaints per year by residents.
  • Waynedale has cheap pipe from the 1950’s and 1960’s.
  • Call and report immediately upon seeing a water issue so it can be taken care of. Do not assume your neighbor is calling to report a break/problem.
  • This replacement has been happening over the last 18 years.
  • Indian Village is being done now at Bluffton Road and will be finished by the end of 2024 with under road and under river connecting to MamaJoe project.
  • No tax dollars are used but a $20million grant was provided last year.
  • 8% increase in electricity is expected as costs at the plant have gone from 7% to $20% in the last 5 years.
The Waynedale News Staff
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