Our commitment to investing in neighborhoods is being demonstrated by the flood control project in the Dalevue-Fernwood neighborhood along the Fairfield Ditch.
We’re building an earthen berm, to hold back flood water, and constructing an already planned larger diameter, 48-inch stormwater pipe and inlets. The project will protect the area up to a 100-year flood event.
Significant progress has been made since our April groundbreaking ceremony. Approximately 90% of the new storm sewer has been installed and is working. During recent rain events, City Utilities crews have not had to pump stormwater in the neighborhood. In addition, construction of the earthen berm is nearly 30% complete. The improvement project is on track for a fall completion which includes final grading, seeding, tree planting and other restoration related tasks.
The low-lying area along the Fairfield Ditch, in particular along Dalevue Drive and Fernwood Avenue, has experienced chronic flooding since the 1950s. For more than 10 years, we’ve worked closely with the Army Corp of Engineers to find solutions for this flood zone area. It was hoped that the project could receive federal assistance, but with federal funds not available and another flood in the area last spring, I took action and moved forward with voluntary buyouts and additional flood protection measures.
This project is already having a positive impact as we continue our proactive efforts to protect and serve residents. I’m appreciative of how our Public Works and City Utilities divisions worked together to develop a solution to enhance the quality of life in our neighborhoods. I also want to thank the residents in the Dalevue-Fernwood area for their patience throughout this process.
On a different topic, I want to thank City employees for the tremendous work they do each day. A recent vote by a majority of City Council members to override my veto of the ordinance to end collective bargaining for non-public safety union employees is disappointing and unnecessary.
At a time when we’re experiencing unprecedented momentum in the City of Fort Wayne by working together, six members of City Council decided to lead a divisive effort to hurt award-winning city employees and send a message to our residents and businesses that their philosophy on unions means more than investing in our future, attracting and retaining jobs, and being a leader in quality of life and neighborhood enhancements.
I want to thank Councilmen Hines, Paddock, and Shoaff for standing up for what is right. They are leaders and strong advocates for our community.
My leadership team is in the process of identifying executive order options that we can utilize to continue to value and protect our employees who commit themselves each day to provide excellent, affordable, and life-saving services.
We will win the future and overcome the obstacles that have been placed in front of us. We are poised for growth, investment, and prosperity.