FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO) – Mayor Tom Henry announced the city’s new initiative today in a press conference at Citizen’s Square.
The focus of the initiative is to enhance neighborhoods and provide additional opportunities for other programs that improve the quality of life in Fort Wayne.
The program is aided by funds collected by the State of Indiana through income taxes. $3.86 million is being distributed to the city over and above what was budgeted in 2019.
The city is proposing the following programs that will continue to move the community into a positive direction:
- Investing in Neighborhoods Now – This program will receive $1 million to empower residents to make neighborhoods improvements. Each of the City’s four area partnerships would receive $250,000. Committees would be established to develop and plan project ideas.
- Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services – A $1 million investment would be made to help expand the homeowner repair program. The Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services is a homeowner repair program that helps to provide heating, air conditioning and roof replacement.
- Expansion of the Commercial Facade Grant program – $250,000 would go to additional projects to assist business owners with making improvements on the exteriors of their commercial properties.
- Continued efforts to address the opioid crisis – $300,000 would help the Fort Wayne Police Department with new drug testing equipment. The Indiana State Police currently does most of these tests, however this would enable the Fort Wayne Police Department to be ahead of the curve in detecting new drug trends as the FWPD would have the capability to test on site. Also $200,000 will be used to help assist The Lutheran Foundation with Allen County’s Sober Living Pilot program, which provides 71 new beds at three levels of care for people in the criminal justice system that has a substance abuse problem.
- Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana – $500,000 would be used for vocational assessment and skills training, workforce development and accessibility. Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana provides support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- Cash reserves – $610,000 would go into the City’s cash reserve to allow the city to have the funds available for emergency situations.
Mayor Tom Henry said “We continue to move Fort Wayne forward with positive momentum and excitement. Investing in neighborhoods and quality of life programs will position us for future growth and success. It’s critical that we put resident first and demonstrate a strong commitment to ensuring we’re meeting the needs of our community.”
Alongside Mayor Henry, neighborhood and community leaders, partner agencies and city staff members were present for the announcement.
Mayor Henry’s Administration is planning to present a formal plan to the City Council in the coming weeks.