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IPFW’s wireless tech center denied

Capital Board seeking more info

– The Allen County Capital Improvements Board officially denied a request for funding support from IPFW Thursday.

The board, which is intended to pay for large capital improvements, had been leaning that way since deferring a decision on the request last month.

In October, IPFW asked for $200,000 for equipment for a wireless technology center, but Capital Improvements Board officials repeatedly asked for more information about the project and never felt like they received the answers they were seeking.

The university has partnered with the local defense communications industry on a wireless technology center and wanted $200,000 to help pay for equipment for its lab. Board members said they want to fund the proposal but need to better understand what the budget for the center will be, how its operations will be funded and what its business plan is.

Thursday, board members said it appeared they had received all the information they were going to get and voted to deny the request but also voted to send a letter encouraging the university to partner with industry on creating a business plan for the center so they might be able to provide funding in the future.

The relatively new board collects some state income and sales taxes from IPFW, Grand Wayne Center, Memorial Coliseum and the Holiday Inn near the Coliseum. But the bulk of its funding comes from any county food and beverage tax revenue that is not needed to finance Coliseum debt.

The board received $3.1 million in early 2011 and $1.1 million in 2012, and is expected to accumulate up to $85 million over the next 17 years.

Requests for funding began in August with the launch of the board’s website, www.allencountycib.org.

In January, the board turned down a $1 million request for the $16 million law school at Indiana Tech and approved a city of Fort Wayne request for $50,000 toward its planned riverfront development study.

dstockman@jg.net

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