21% of city Legacy funds already planned

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Ideas are turning into reality as the city of Fort Wayne is moving forward with several projects funded by Legacy dollars.  The city will get $79 million from 2010’s light lease settlement over the next several years.  Leaders have allocated about $16.9 million of the funds so far, leaving a total of $62.1 million left.

“There’s no set amount that we’re trying to keep it at.  It depends on the projects,” said John Urbahns, director of community development with the city of Fort Wayne.

Although there are plans for the $16.9 million, much of it hasn’t been spent yet.  More needs to be done to get the projects off the ground.  Urbahns said a large chunk of money is currently in savings accruing interest.

City Council approved the $16.9 million in projects in December of 2012 with little to no disagreement.  The majority of them were agreed on unanimously.

The following is the list of nine projects to be funded by Legacy funds:

“Riverfront Development Study – Up to $500,000 – Not spent yet
An action plan including engineering elements which will provide the road map to implement a world class downtown riverfront development. Council voted 9-0 for it.

Higher Education Opportunity Fund – $8 million -Not spent yet
This will provide funds to assist higher education institutions to purchase property, develop new facilities, rehabilitate older buildings in downtown, and provide needed infrastructure. Council voted 6-3 for it.

Downtown Trust – $1 million
The Trust is structured to be in position to move expeditiously and strategically to secure options to purchase and/or purchase properties as they become available downtown. Council voted 6-3 for it.

Downtown Overpass/Underpass Beautification and Lighting – $700,000 – Not spent yet
Overpasses serving as gateways to Fort Wayne’s downtown will be transformed with unique overpass signage and underpass art light. Phase I construction will occur in 2013. Council voted 6-3 for it.

Ewing/Fairfield Conversion – $3 million – In the process of being spent
Conversion of Ewing and Fairfield from one-way to two-way, along with streetscape and pedestrian, bike and place making improvements. Construction to occur in 2013 and 2014. Council voted 9-0 for it.

Gateways – $500,000 – Not spent yet
Wayfinding signage; corridor enhancements; interchange beautification along and adjacent to Fort Wayne’s major gateway corridors. Phase I construction in 2013.  Council voted 6-3 for it.

Trail Development – $1 million – Not spent yet
The funding will provide the 20% local match needed for previously committed federal dollars that will go toward implementing several City trail projects in 2013/2014.  Council voted 9-0 for it.

-Rivergreenway extension from Johnny Appleseed Park to Shoaff Park

-Two sections along the Pufferbelly Trail

-Engle Road Trail

-Six Mile Creek Trail Phase I

-Covington Road Trail

Youth Sports Assessment/Market Potential Study and Implementation – up to $200,000 – In the process of being spent
Provide guidance on how best to market existing strategies and determine untapped opportunities. In addition, determine facility needs with the goal of being regionally/nationally recognized in youth/prep sports.  Council voted 9-0 for it.

McMillen Community Center – $2 million – In the process of being spent
Renovation of the former McMillen Ice Arena into a Community Center. Anticipated completion is 2014.  Council voted 9-0 for it.

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