Hopefully the weather will be as mild on the day you read this as it is on the day I’m putting these words on paper! I heard that the recent weather trends are on the verge of breaking a record that goes back almost a century. I hope we get a bit more snow this winter for the snow lovers, but the low utility bills and sun belt-like climate would be easy to get used to!

Effort continues to bring rail service back to Fort Wayne. If projected plans become reality the U.S. will be blanketed by a high speed rail network in 5 or 10 years. We have at least a fair chance to be on the rail line between Chicago and Northern Ohio. There seems to be general agreement among the experts that the old Baker Street rail station and its railroad right of way could be used for a future Fort Wayne rail line. If you support the return of rail service to our city look for every opportunity to “talk up” rail to state and federal legislators as well as to local business and governmental leaders. Making rail service for Fort Wayne a reality once again will require a long, concerted effort but at least that effort is well underway.

Next week City Council is scheduled to discuss an ordinance designed to prevent dumping of trash in city parks. According to park department leaders there have been an increasing number of incidents of dumping in city parks. It’s hard to understand how someone could decide to leave a truckload of trash in one of our parks but I suppose it’s cheaper than going to the local landfill. The proposed ordinance has a special twist. Since it’s often difficult to identify exactly who deposits trash in parks the proposed ordinance will reward whomever turns in the “dumper” with 1/2 of any fine collected. To be eligible for this reward the witness would be required to testify in court if necessary. This is an unusual concept but it makes some sense to me. Let me know what you think!

Two other items: First, I’ve recently learned that the earth moving work currently underway near the Engle Road/Smith Road intersection is covered by the necessary permits, according to city staff who checked this out. I’ve received a few calls regarding this matter. Secondly, my apologies to neighborhood leaders for missing the January 21st Southwest Area Partnership meeting—due to an email “glitch” I didn’t realize until the last minute that I was on the meeting agenda. The wonders of 21st century communications!

Call me with any questions or suggestions regarding Fort Wayne and the 4th Councilmanic District!


Tom Hayhurst
City Councilman
4th District