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Fort Wayne City Council examines how legacy fund is spent

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) — Preserving and protecting the future of Fort Wayne’s legacy fund was a point of discussion at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

Some council members want to put up a stop sign on more spending if there’s a threat of taking the balance too low.

Fort Wayne’s legacy fund is a pot of money used to pay for development projects, help new businesses grow and make life better for the people of Fort Wayne.

The fund holds about 34 million dollars, and the Electric Works project will get $10-million of that.

During the city council Tuesday, developers of the project said that money puts them on track to begin the work of transforming the GE campus, but $10-million is a big ask considering some council members are worried about the legacy fund dipping below $30-million.

Despite their previous warnings that city officials are “trying to thwart progress,” developers struck a sudden, different chord Tuesday. They say they are thankful for the money and promise to put it to work.

“I think this council has been great stewards of those dollars, making sure downtown continues to grow and prosper,” Josh Parker of RTM Ventures said.

Since the $10-million payout to Electric Works projects takes the legacy fund below a $30-million threshold, city council may be forced to hold off on any more legacy spending until next year.

That could impact Science Central, where organizers are raising $2-million for a new planetarium. They’ve requested $500,000 from the legacy fund but they may not get it now.

As you could imagine, the city council sees many requests for the use of legacy dollars. Hundreds in fact.

That’s a workload that council isn’t equipped to handle. That is why they decided to form a new committee Tuesday night.

That group will screen legacy requests, acting as a strainer of sorts, that way council isn’t overwhelmed.

We will keep track of all legacy developments and progress on the GE campus.

Jacob Burbrink

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