Legacy Project Proposals Brought Forth: Riverfront Study Featured

By Jeff Neumeyer

December 7, 2012 Updated Dec 7, 2012 at 6:56 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) --- A half million dollars of city light lease money will be spent on a study to determine how to develop Fort Wayne's riverfronts.

That is if Mayor Tom Henry gets his way.

It’s one of the first concrete ideas for Legacy projects to come down the pike.

The mayor on Friday released nine proposals that will be introduced to city council on Tuesday.

If they were approved, they would take about $20-million, or about one-fourth of the Legacy money available.

The most high-profile proposal involves dedicating $500,000 for a riverfront development study, which would take at least a year, and hopefully would provide a road map for a major riverfront project.

The mayor also is asking for $8-million to help higher education institutions to purchase and develop new properties downtown.

Another $1-million would be put into a trust to purchase other strategic properties downtown.

City Council President Tom Smith hopes the riverfront study will eventually lead to offices, housing and retail along the rivers.

" All easier said than done, but when you look at riverfronts across America, they face the same problems we do here. Flooding areas, all of that sort of thing. If other cities can do it we can do it, and this study is going to be our gateway to getting use of our riverfronts downtown," said Smith, a Republican who represents the 1st council district.

The Henry Administration also wants to spend more than $2-million over three years to beautify and more effectively light overpasses and underpasses leading into the city.

Another $3-million would be spent converting Ewing Street and Fairfield Avenue from one-way to two-way, to move traffic and pedestrians better near Parkview Field.

About $30-million has been placed in a trust fund and won’t be touched, unless a project comes along that at least 6 city council members believe warrants tapping into the fund.


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