Legacy FW Task Force Nears $80M Worth Of Recommendations

By Maureen Mespell
By John W. Davis

August 30, 2011 Updated Aug 30, 2011 at 10:34 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) --"Transformative Change," repeatedly remarked Fort Wayne Democratic City Councilman Time Pape, who is also a member of the Fort Wayne Legacy Task Force.

That's what the Legacy Fort Wayne Task Force is seeking as the group is only a few weeks away from giving final recommendations on how Fort Wayne should spend $80 million dollars from the city's Light Lease deal with Indiana Michigan Power.

The Task Force has narrowed their recommendations to three areas.

Members believe Downtown Improvements, Economic Improvements and Youth Development all deserve a significant piece of the $80 million dollar pie.

*Downtown Improvements sub ideas
(Downtown Gap Funding)

-Live/Work Space

-Downtown Post-Secondary Education Facility (ITT Law School Proposal)

-Capital Improvement Fund Concept

ex. Public Market or Indiana Hotel


-Downtown Development Trust/Land Acquisition

-CBD Retail Program/grant Loan



-Public Art Trust - Special Projects

-Catalytic Art


*Economic Improvements sub ideas
(Job Creation/Attraction/Business Retention)

-Centers for Excellence (Life Sciences Education/Research and Development Proposal)

-Parkview Redevelopment/Carew Street

-"Jump Start" Venture Fund

-Opportunity Fund: site evaluations, due diligence
Local incentives for economic development, Mega site/spec building, new development/site readiness, TECH/NIIC Buildout, Incumbent local training/recruiting, advance degree program, Entrepreneurship/Venture Capital

-The Talent Initiative - STEM


-Passenger Rail (NIPRA) Feasibility Study

-Multimodal Improvements (trail, bridge, sidewalk)

-Community Gateways


*Youth Development sub ideas
(Make Fort Wayne Prep Sports Capital)

-World Class Youth Prep Sports
(ASH Centre/Turnstone Proposal)

-Indoor Track and Field Facility

-Motorsports Complex


"I don't think it's our job to come up with a specific idea and move on it," said Legacy Task Force Member Cathy Hawks.

"I think it is our job to come up with several concepts and then take it to the next level and have other people look at it who have more wisdom to bring to the table than we do," continued Hawks, who is a Community Activist through The Chapel in Southwest Fort Wayne.

Members also discussed how funding should be handed out.

"We have limited funds to try to achieve something grand," Pape said.

The consensus stuck to a previous notion that groups or organizations that receive funding should be able to match that grant dollar for dollar.

They also acknowledged and seemingly approved Mayor Henry's wish to save some of the $80M in a trust fund for future generations.

Final recommendations will be made at the next Legacy Task Force meeting.

That meeting date has not been scheduled yet but will likely be held in mid to late-September.

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