Statement as issued Friday by the mayor’s office:
Fort Wayne, Ind. – Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry today provided a progress report on Legacy Fort Wayne and announced that several Legacy projects are ready to be presented to City Council for approval.
A resolution on Legacy projects will be introduced and discussed at City Council’s meeting on December 11. It’s anticipated that City Council could give final approval at its December 18 meeting.
The initial Legacy recommendations outlined in the resolution focus on economic development; downtown and riverfront development; and youth development/prep sports.
“I am pleased to advance transformational projects for our community. Each Legacy project provides us with an opportunity to make our City stronger and better positioned for growth,” said Mayor Henry. “By working together, we will leave a lasting Legacy for future generations.”
Highlights of the Legacy projects to be presented to City Council for approval:
Riverfront Development Study – up to $500,000
An action plan including engineering elements which will provide the road map to implement a world class downtown riverfront development. A request for proposals will be issued in early 2013; plan completion in 2013/2014; phase I implementation in 2014.
Higher Education Opportunity Fund - $8 million
This will provide funds to assist higher education institutions to purchase property, develop new facilities, rehabilitate older buildings in downtown, and provide needed infrastructure.
Downtown Trust - $1 million
The Trust is structured to be in position to move expeditiously and strategically to secure options to purchase and/or purchase properties as they become available downtown.
Downtown Overpass/Underpass Beautification and Lighting - $2.1 million ($700,000 per year for three years)
Overpasses serving as gateways to Fort Wayne’s downtown will be transformed with unique overpass signage and underpass art light. Phase I construction will occur in 2013.
Ewing/Fairfield Conversion - $3 million
Conversion of Ewing and Fairfield from one-way to two-way, along with streetscape and pedestrian, bike and place making improvements. Construction to occur in 2013 and 2014.
Gateways - $2 million ($500,000 per year for four years)
Wayfinding signage; corridor enhancements; interchange beautification along and adjacent to Fort Wayne’s major gateway corridors. Phase I construction in 2013.
Trail Development - $1 million
The funding will provide the 20% local match needed for previously committed federal dollars that will go toward implementing several City trail projects in 2013/2014.
-Rivergreenway extension from Johnny Appleseed Park to Shoaff Park
-Two sections along the Pufferbelly Trail
-Engle Road Trail
-Six Mile Creek Trail Phase I
-Covington Road Trail
Youth Sports Assessment/Market Potential Study and Implementation – up to $200,000
Provide guidance on how best to market existing strategies and determine untapped opportunities. In addition, determine facility needs with the goal of being regionally/nationally recognized in youth/prep sports. A request for proposals will be issued in early 2013, with study completion in summer 2013.
McMillen Community Center - $2 million
Renovation of the former McMillen Ice Arena into a Community Center. Anticipated completion is 2014.
Formed by Mayor Henry in 2011 with unprecedented public involvement and outreach, Legacy Fort Wayne is an initiative to guide decision making about the Fort Wayne Community Trust and City Light Lease Settlement funds. Currently, approximately $47 million in funding is available with an additional $28 million to be received over the next several years.
Last month, City Council approved the Fort Wayne Community Trust Ordinance. Honoring the input of the public, the ordinance ensures the best stewardship of the Legacy funds, promotes their continued careful investment and management, and defines their catalytic role in community development.
Additional Legacy recommendations and requests will be presented to City Council over the next several months.