Fort Wayne Council delays land deal, votes on “Pay to Play” bill

(Darrin Wright/1190 WOWO 107.5 FM)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): The Fort Wayne City Council has balked at the idea of buying a 29-acre parcel of land near downtown.

Last night the Council pushed back a preliminary vote on a controversial proposal to purchase the former OmniSource scrapyard site to next week.

Many on the Council felt rushed by the proposal, which was only publicly announced on November 9th and includes the city buying the land for $4.63-million and assuming all environmental cleanup costs, virtually sight-unseen.

Councilman Russ Jehl tells the News-Sentinel the one-week delay will give both the Council and the public more time to study the deal.

In other business, a bill that will limit how much firms doing business with the city of Fort Wayne can donate to local officials’ political campaigns passed on a preliminary vote last night.

Republican Jason Arp’s bill wouldn’t exactly prevent firms from donating to political candidates, but would make them ineligible for city contracts if they donate more than $2,000.

Arp raised the issue earlier this year when he pointed out that Mayor Tom Henry’s campaign received $980,000 from groups that ended up receiving more than $128-million in city contract work.

The vote went 6-3, with Democrats Geoff Paddock and Glynn Hines, plus Republican Michael Barranda, voting against it.

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