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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, September 19, 2019 11:51 am

Verbatim: Mayor Henry’s 2020 budget features record investments in neighborhood infrastructure and enhancements for public safety and parks

Balanced budget positions Fort Wayne for continued growth and success

The following was released on Thurs., Sept. 19, 2019:

Fort Wayne, Ind. – Mayor Tom Henry today announced the City of Fort Wayne’s proposed budget for 2020 will continue the City Administration’s commitment to investing in neighborhood infrastructure, public safety, and parks. 

The balanced budget is focused on providing essential services to residents, neighborhoods, and businesses. The budget also positions Fort Wayne as a leader in job growth, economic development opportunities, downtown revitalization, strong and thriving neighborhoods, and quality of life amenities that make Fort Wayne unique as a point of destination to live, work, and play.

 

2020 budget highlights:

*Continuation of commitment to neighborhood infrastructure projects with a record investment of $33.3 million, which includes $23.9 million for neighborhood streets and roads, $8 million for sidewalks and alleys, and $1.4 million for bridges 

*Academy class for the Fort Wayne Police Department to include 15 recruits. The additions will allow the FWPD to have 480 officers patrolling City streets to protect the public. The FWPD will also be adding four replacement K-9’s and a new explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) robot and x-ray system for the bomb unit, which is part of the FWPD’s Special Operations Division. 

*Academy class for the Fort Wayne Fire Department to include 20 recruits. The additions will allow the FWFD to have 368 firefighters protecting the community. In addition, the FWFD plans to purchase two new fire engines and a new ladder truck. 

*Investments in maintenance projects through the Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department to total $3 million 

*Utilization of the State of Indiana’s allowable tax levy to assist in preserving funding to provide essential services 

 

The property tax supported budget, also known as the Civil City budget, totals $180 million. This budget does not include Fort Wayne City Utilities, which has its own budget funded by ratepayers. 

“Fort Wayne is in an enviable position with a positive financial outlook and a budget that’s reflective of what the community has told us they want city government to lead on – neighborhood infrastructure, public safety, and parks,” said Mayor Henry. “We’re a city on the move with unprecedented momentum and excitement. By working together, 2020 will be an outstanding year in Fort Wayne as we strive for excellence in providing the best services possible to the public.” 

Mayor Henry’s Administration will present the budget to City Council on Tuesday, Sept. 24. The budget is available at http://www.cityoffortwayne.org/smartgov

Proactive fiscal management has helped Fort Wayne achieve national recognition in 2019 under Mayor Henry’s leadership:

*Lowest cost of living city for 2019 by Niche (4th year in a row) 

*12th best run city in the country for 2019 by WalletHub 

*40th best place to live in the country by U.S. News & World Report 

*Hottest real estate market city in the country for July 2019 by realtor.com 

*10th best real estate market in the country for 2019 by WalletHub