UPDATE: A New Study Could Save Fort Wayne $25 Million

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Saving the city of Fort Wayne $25 million? U.S. Congressman Marlin Stutzman says it's possible. 

It's due to the issue of de-vegetation, which goes back to 2010, when the city was told by the Corps of Engineers that their levees would have to be de-vegetated. They thought it would help strengthen the levees, but now Congressman Stutzman says, “A study is being done to actually see if that is accurate in this bill. I added an amendment that would put the project on hold for the City of Fort Wayne so they don't have to de-vegetate.”  That is if they come back from the study and decide not to require the de-vegetation.

In the meantime, Congressman Marlin Stutzman spoke on the House floor today in support of this amendment.  The House of Representatives will vote on the Stutzman amendment later this evening.

 “I rise today in support of the legislation to be considered on the floor this afternoon, H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013.

“Mr. Speaker, my amendment ruled in order and to be considered en bloc, addresses an issue very important to my district in Northeast Indiana as well as other similarly situated districts around the country.  I am proud to represent Fort Wayne, Indiana’s second largest city, which has more than 10 miles of levees that protect residents and businesses.

“In response to recent Army Corps of Engineers guidelines requiring levee de-vegetation, local governments across the country affected by this policy have made their voices heard.  Unfortunately, this unnecessary policy will cost taxpayers in my district millions of dollars. My amendment saves the city of Fort Wayne $25 million and makes levee safety the highest priority while allowing the Army Corps of Engineers to fully examine the guidelines study authorized in the underlying bill.

“I thank Chairman Shuster for his assistance and look forward to further pursuing solutions to this issue.”

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry applauded Congressman Stutzman’s efforts. “We appreciate Congressman Stutzman’s efforts. We’re hopeful Congress will vote in favor of this legislation that would have a positive impact on Fort Wayne,” said Henry.