The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, November 25, 2020 1:00 am

Probe into rejected deal called off

Council bill killed amid new Electric Works agreement

DAVE GONG | For The Journal Gazette

A resolution seeking to investigate the cancellation of the Electric Works economic development agreement was withdrawn by its sponsors Tuesday. 

“I believe that all of the documents; ... the I's have been dotted and the T's have been crossed and looks like it's favorable,” said Councilman Glynn Hines, D-at large. 

Hines and Council President Tom Didier, R-3rd, introduced the bill in September after the Redevelopment Commission canceled the agreement for the $280 million project just south of downtown Fort Wayne.

The proposal received preliminary approval in a 5-3 City Council vote Sept. 15, but a final vote was postponed after city officials announced it had reached a new deal with RTM Ventures, the firm developing the former General Electric site. 

The terms of the new deal, approved by the Redevelopment Commission on Oct. 12, are largely similar to the original agreement signed in August 2018. Key changes, however, include the addition of Cincinnati-based Model Group to the development team and the inclusion of Ash Brokerage CEO Tim Ash as an investor and general partner.

The new agreement also reaffirms the commitment of about $62 million in public funds toward the $280 million project. 

The closing deadline for the project is now Dec. 31.

In other business, City Council members disclosed recent decisions related to the salaries of Council Attorney Joe Bonahoom, Council Administrator Megan Flohr and a new council employee who has yet to be hired. 

No vote was taken during Tuesday's meeting.

Bonahoom's annual salary moving forward will be $50,000, Didier said. Flohr's salary will be $69,500 a year. The new employee, who will assist Flohr with various duties, will earn $48,000 a year. 

“We definitely think of Megan as an exceptional employee, and she does so much for our department. We think this is a very fair place to put (her salary),” said Councilman Paul Ensley, R-1st. “As far as Joe Bonahoom goes, I wish there had been more in the budget, because I think the value of the legal services he provides for us probably really exceeds the amount we have in the budget to give him, but I'm pleased to offer him what we are able to as well.”

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