City releases proposed 2016 budget

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry announced the city's 2016 budget, which will continue the city’s positive momentum and position community for future success.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Fort Wayne officials on Friday released the city’s proposed 2016 budget, a $155 million spending plan that includes plans to hire 33 new firefighters and invest $22.8 million in infrastructure projects.

Mayor Tom Henry and City Controller Pat Roller detailed the budget. The pair touted the budget as the latest example of the city’s commitment to residents, neighborhoods, and businesses.

“I continue to be encouraged by the positive momentum and unprecedented excitement we’re experiencing in the City of Fort Wayne,” said Mayor Henry. “Leadership and a commitment to being fiscally responsible have positioned our community for continued success. Our 2016 budget places a strong emphasis on moving Fort Wayne forward in the right direction as we invest in public safety, infrastructure, and parks to make our City the very best as a national leader as we meet the needs of residents, neighborhoods, and businesses.”

The budget includes funding for a Fort Wayne Fire Department academy class of 33 recruits, 10 which will be paid out of a federal grant. The rest, though, will be paid out of the 2016 budget.

Also, the city plans to invest $22.8 million in neighborhood street, road, and sidewalk improvement projects, and $3 million in maintenance projects at city parks.

Henry and Roller said the city is also planning to utilize the state’s allowable tax levy to preserve funding for essential services.

The pair said the city’s proactive approach to enacting successful financial strategies to ensure sustainability and viability now and in the future has lessened the negative impact of property tax caps.

This budget is apart from the spending plan of Fort Wayne City Utilities, which has its own budget funded by ratepayers.

The budget will go before city council for review in the coming weeks.

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