Mayor Henry Optimistic About Navistar

By Megan Trent

June 18, 2010 Updated May 30, 2010 at 6:59 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry is weighing in the city's battle over Navistar. He's fighting to keep 1,000 high paying jobs from leaving the area's local truck design facility. It was bad news when Navistar announced that they were planning a move to Lisle, Illinois, but things seemed to be looking up last week when the company sent a letter to the city's mayor saying they no longer were going to set up their world headquarters there.

An upscale neighborhood in the Chicago suburb of Lisle was located just being the new Navistar headquarters, and many residents said they were concerned about air pollution as well as tax and economic issues. Many people in Fort Wayne, including Mayor Henry, was elated at the opportunity to keep the company in the area. Hopes of Navistar world headquarters were abundant. Now, it's looking like there still may be an uphill battle ahead for the mayor.

There is some stiff competition for Fort Wayne. Alabama and North Carolina are big contenders offering big benefits, like ports. But Mayor Henry says the city is encouraged by an Earnst and Young report that says Navistar would save $30 million by staying in Fort Wayne.

"We know we have an extremely qualified work force. We have the ability to not only provide a good work force for them, but I think a number of other incentives that we're putting on the table should make our city very attractive," says Henry.

Navistar officials say they are in the public hearing phase of their planning right now, and it could be months before a location is chosen.

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