FORT WAYNE Ind. (WOWO): Controversy continues in the wake of the decision by the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission’s sudden decision to terminate the agreement with RTM Ventures over the Electric Works Project.
Fifth District City Council Representative Geoff Paddock appeared on Fort Wayne’s Morning news with host Darrin Wright and disputed the gap of 51 million dollars that was cited by Mayor Henry in a Journal-Gazette Op Ed piece that supported the decision by the Redevelopment Commission.
Paddock said he’s seen evidence that the gap is actually much smaller, and that all of the funding would be in place to move the project forward within the next week. He said that reasonable people should sit down and discuss this and move toward an agreement and noted that the more than quarter of a billion dollar project is too big to “let slip away”.
Paddock noted not only the size of the project and the four years of work that have gone into it, but also that other public funds and a sizable and growing amount of private money is entering the project as well. Paddock underscored the economic impact with saying that the 2000 plus construction jobs and 1500 permanent jobs are badly needed as the pandemic continues to stress the economy.
Additionally, Paddock said other commercial properties surrounding the site as well as the residential neighborhoods would all benefit from the redevelopment at a time when it’s needed most.
He seemed optimistic that some agreement could still be reached in moving the project forward. Josh Parker, from RTM Ventures said earlier this week that the project is “shovel ready” and that RTM remains committed to moving the development forward without losing momentum.