Happy New Year to all of you! I want to thank all residents in Fort Wayne for a great 2016. We saw a tremendous amount of momentum and excitement throughout our entire City.
Some of the highlights included record investments of $25 million in neighborhood infrastructure improvements. Our downtown saw the completion of the Ash Skyline Plaza and Skyline Garage projects. Work is underway on the Skyline Tower development, and the Cityscape Flats housing development next to Parkview Field is nearing completion. We made investments in our world-class parks system, progress is being made on riverfront development efforts and we added more firefighters and police officers to serve and protect all of us.
With all of our accomplishments in 2016, we’re looking forward to an even better 2017. Let’s continue to work together to make a meaningful difference and build on the positive momentum we’re experiencing in our community.
An area of emphasis this year is on our cost share program to help residents interested in making sidewalk repairs. Residents pay 50 percent and the City pays 50 percent. Previously, it was a 60-40 cost share for residents until we restructured the program in 2016. Eighty homeowners participated in the program in 2016 at average cost of $500-$800, and 74 homeowners are scheduled to take part in the program this year.
Residents are able to use Board of Public Works financing known as Barrett Law. It’s a 10-year repayment option at 3 percent interest. If you’re interested in participating, please call 311 or visit www.cityoffortwayne.org/costshare for more information.
You may not realize Fort Wayne has 1,600 miles of sidewalks. It’s a large undertaking, but we’re making progress. In 2014, I became the first mayor in the City’s history to dedicate funding for sidewalk maintenance, which includes $75,000 ($12,500 in each City Council district) for trip hazard repairs, $600,000 neighborhood sidewalk improvements and $250,000 for Street Department-led trip hazard repairs.
Investing in our neighborhoods is critical to the current and future success of Fort Wayne. We’re striving to make a meaningful difference in neighborhoods, and we’re seeing results. Property values are on the rise, pride is increasing and quality of life amenities are being enhanced. We appreciate your continued support, encouragement and patience as we work to make a lasting impact for all of you.