City Councilman concerned about Legacy Fund spending

Fort Wayne City Council, File

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)- Save the money in the Legacy Fund or spend it? That was the main topic of discussion at Tuesday night’s city council meeting. With several big projects on the horizon for Fort Wayne, Council President Russ Jehl is concerned that there is too much spending and not enough saving.

“We made the promise that we would preserve the fund for future generations and by that we meant that we would preserve the 30 million dollars,” said Jehl.

Jehl said when the Legacy Fund was created, city leaders wanted to maintain a $30 million minimum balance. Currently, about $37 million remains in the Legacy Fund. Leaders working on the Riverfront Development project will ask council to use $10 million dollars from that fund for the first phase of construction.

When the legacy fund was established more than 40 years ago, the plan was to use that money toward projects that move move the city forward. In order to do that, City Spokesman John Perlich said they need flexibility.

“We want to have the flexibility to be able to invest that money in future projects as they come up,” he said.

Jehl brought his concerns to the council, but ultimately they were not convinced $30 million needed to be saved. Which was welcome news for the city.

“It was a positive confirmation that legacy fund is going very well,” said Perlich. “We have plenty of money in the fund now and there’s going to be plenty of money in future years as well.”