Mayor Henry names advisory committee
November 13, 2013. – The first comprehensive look at Fort Wayne's riverfront development possibilities is moving forward. A contract between the City of Fort Wayne and SWA Group for a Riverfront Development Study received final approval last night from Fort Wayne City Council. The contract amount is $499,500 and is funded through Legacy dollars.
Today, Mayor Tom Henry named the group of citizens and staff who will guide the study and provide input. Ray Kusisto, Ortho NorthEast (ONE), and Deputy Mayor Karl Bandemer will serve as co-chairs of the Riverfront Advisory Committee.
Other members include: Nick Arnett, Creative Collective LLC; Dave Arnold, Ambassador Enterprises; Mark Becker, Greater Fort Wayne, Inc.; Ian Boyce, Dickmeyer Boyce Financial Management Inc.; Steve Brody, Brody Consulting LLC; Tim Hall, Hall's Restaurants and Fort Wayne Outfitters; Patti Hays, Lutheran Health Network; Lindsay Hively, Kernel Coladas Gourmet Popcorn; Nancy Jordan, Lincoln Financial Group; Dawn Rosemond, Barnes & Thornburg, LLP; Rick Samek, Carson Boxberger, LLP; Tom Smith, Fort Wayne City Council; Wendy Stein, Stein Ad Promos, LLC; Ron Turpin, Lincoln Financial Group; John Urbahns, City of Fort Wayne Community Development; Irene Walters, IPFW; and Dan Wire, Tri-State Watershed Alliance.
The first meeting of the Advisory Committee will be December 5, when SWA visits Fort Wayne and begins the 12 to 18-month process of examining data, seeking public input and exploring possibilities for development.
The Riverfront Development Study is intended to provide the road map for a world class investment. Areas of focus will include land use; engineering and infrastructure investment; environmental and ecological issues; watershed and flooding issues; connectivity to trails, downtown and nearby neighborhoods; access to the river; retail; entertainment; and housing.
SWA Group, an urban planning, design and landscape architecture firm working worldwide from seven locations, was chosen to lead the study. SWA has extensive expertise in riverfront development in the U.S. and around the world. SWA's team will include Fort Wayne-based MKM Architecture + Design; Biohabitats; Moffatt & Nichol; Market Feasibility Advisors; and AMEC. Additional information about SWA can be found at www.swagroup.com. City leaders emphasize the public will have an important role throughout the study process. Proactive outreach efforts will be used to gather input on concepts for creating a viable and exciting riverfront action plan.
October 22, 2013 – A resolution to allocate Legacy funding for college scholarships and non- profit programming aimed at improving job readiness, skill development, and advancing education attainment for City residents will be introduced at tonight’s Fort Wayne City Council meeting.
The resolution calls for $3 million to be allocated to the Higher Education Scholarship Fund and $2 million to be allocated to the Educational Services Fund. Both funds would continue to be held in the City's Community Legacy Fund and only dollars from the investment earnings would be spent annually.
The Higher Education Scholarship Fund would be administered by the Questa Foundation, which provides scholarships throughout northeast Indiana. The scholarships would be awarded to students residing in the City and preparing to enter a higher education institution located in the City.
The Education Services Fund would be administered by Community Development staff and grants would be awarded to non-profits through an annual request for proposals (RFP) process. The dollars would support programming designed to improve job skills for City residents.
The resolution is expected to be discussed at City Council on November 5, with final passage expected on November 12.
October 22, 2013. – A contract between the City of Fort Wayne and SWA Group for a Riverfront Development Study will be introduced at tonight's Fort Wayne City Council meeting. The contract amount is $499,500 and would be paid from Legacy funds. The amount is just under the $500,000 approved by City Council last year to conduct a study of the City's rivers.
Following introduction this week, City Council will likely discuss the contract on November 5, with final passage expected on November 12. It's anticipated the study will take 12-18 months to complete and work will begin next month.
The Riverfront Development Study will be the first comprehensive look at the City's rivers and is intended to provide the road map to a world class investment. Areas of focus will include land use; engineering and infrastructure investment; environmental and ecological issues; watershed and flooding issues; connectivity to trails, downtown and nearby neighborhoods; access to the river; urban design guidelines; retail; entertainment; and housing.
"We've done our due diligence in selecting an outstanding firm and ensuring we have a solid contract, but now the real work begins," said Mayor Tom Henry. "I'm excited to work with experts and citizens alike to craft a plan that will bring transformational change and investment to our riverfront and City."
SWA Group, an urban planning, design and landscape architecture firm working worldwide from seven locations, was chosen to lead the study. SWA has extensive expertise in riverfront development in the U.S. and around the world. SWA's team will include Fort Wayne-based MKM Architecture + Design; Biohabitats; Moffatt & Nichol; and AMEC. Additional information about SWA can be found at www.swagroup.com. City leaders emphasize the public will have an important role throughout the study process. Proactive outreach efforts will be used to gather input on concepts for creating a viable and exciting riverfront action plan.
City to save $100,000 on Legacy Wayfinding project
September 24, 2013 – The City of Fort Wayne today announced that bids for the City's wayfinding signs are a $100,000 under the original $300,000 estimate, which will save money on the construction and installation of 54 directional signs throughout Fort Wayne.A project budget of $200,000 will be introduced to City Council tonight, with discussion taking place next week and possible approval on October 8.
Burkhart Sign Systems submitted a bid of $177,702; the project budget of $200,000 would accommodate the possibility of adding several more signs plus contingencies.
The signs are a Legacy Fort Wayne project and will be located on primary transportation corridors throughout the city. Each sign will provide directions to major destinations frequented by out-of-town visitors. The sign locations and language are still being finalized.
The signs will each be 4'x 8' and made of aluminum. Installation should begin in November and be completed by the end of the year.
The wayfinding project is part of Front Door Fort Wayne, an award-winning plan that focuses on beautifying the community's corridors. It incorporates existing landmarks, new landmarks, public art, lighting, signs, bike paths, sidewalks, landscaping, and public transportation facilities and puts a priority on celebrating Fort Wayne's heritage and culture.
An example of a sign can be seen at: http://www.cityoffortwayne.org/images/stories/Wayfinding_Sign_Sample.jpg
September 5, 2013 - Fort Wayne, Ind. - Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry today announced that Weigand Construction has been selected as the contractor for the McMillen Park Community Center project.
Nearly $1.7 million in Legacy funding will be invested to renovate the former McMillen Ice Arena into a community center.
The contract will be introduced to City Council on September 10. Final approval could occur on September 24.
It's anticipated that renovation work would begin in October and be finished next year. This is Phase 1 of the project. Additional phases will be needed to complete the renovation.
The community center will feature programs for all ages that will include sports and recreation as well as educational, social, and health and fitness programs.
"I continue to be encouraged by the positive momentum in our City," said Mayor Henry. "The McMillen Community Center is going to be a tremendous investment. City Councilman Glynn Hines and citizens in southeast Fort Wayne have been champions on this effort. We look forward to the entire community being able to use and enjoy this unique and needed destination place."
To ensure the future McMillen facility would meet the community's ongoing needs, the Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department held public meetings in spring 2011 to gather ideas. A conceptual drawing derived from the public's feedback was presented to the community in August 2011.
MSKTD and Associates designed the McMillen Community Center and serve as the project manager. MSKTD and Weigand are Fort Wayne companies.
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"Today (Oct. 28, 2010) is a good day for the people of Fort Wayne," said Mayor Tom Henry. "This settlement will strengthen Fort Wayne and better position us for economic growth. Not only does it provide an important income stream, it ensures that I&M continues to provide quality service to the area."