Tuesday, March 15, 2016 8:32 pm
East Allen alliance gets $80,000 for study
Dave Gong | The Journal Gazette
The Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board on Thursday approved funding to create a capital investment study for several communities in the eastern part of Allen County.
The $80,270 approved Thursday will go toward creation of a strategic investment plan for the communities of Grabill, Harlan, Hoagland, Leo-Cedarville, Monroeville, New Haven and Woodburn, Kent Castleman, president of the New Allen Alliance, said in an email. The New Allen Alliance requested the funding from the Capital Improvement Board.
"Our organization is very excited to begin a process of engaging all of our communities in East Allen and thank the CIB for recognizing the value of this project," Castleman said in a statement. "It is our mission to create a unified voice for those in the rural and unincorporated areas of East Allen County and we intend to do that in cooperation with county leadership."
Castleman said the New Allen Alliance strives to engage communities in eastern Allen County with effective planning and dialogue for shared collaboration.
The purpose of the study is to find out the individual capital and infrastructure needs each city or town will have over the next five to 10 years and to try to help connect those communities with available county, regional and state resources.
The plan will discuss place-making and the uniqueness of each community, Castleman said.
"It’s really to get more into the weeds of understanding what truly are the needs of the community, whether it’s from an infrastructure standpoint, which would be a significant aspect of it," Kristi Sturtz, president of Churubusco-based Sturtz Public Management Group, told the board. "But also do they have areas where they could expand for industry, is housing an issue, quality of life as it relates to parks and those sorts of things."
Sturtz is the consultant responsible for facilitating the study on behalf of the New Allen Alliance.
The Allen County commissioners and representatives from Greater Fort Wayne Inc. supported the New Allen Alliance’s request, CIB President Nancy Jordan said.
In addition to the grant from the Capital Improvement Board, the New Allen Association will invest up to $5,000 in communication tools, build a website and help fund various community meetings associated with the project.
Working with the surrounding communities is important when thinking long term about the community and the investment to downtown Fort Wayne, Jordan said.
"The intent is to bring more businesses and bring in more jobs," she said. "Where are those companies going to locate and where are their people going to live? There’s only so much room downtown, there’s only so much room southwest, etc. East Allen seems like a very important half of the community where there could be great opportunity to locate new businesses or residential, etc."
The study is expected to be complete by the end of June 2016.