New Jobs Coming to Bluffton Road

Earlier this month the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns (IACT) awarded the City of Fort Wayne two prestigious awards. IACT officials recognized Fort Wayne for the Community Achievement Award and the prominent Green Community Award.

The Community Achievement Award recognized the City for its recycling program and efficiencies that saved money and generated revenues, doubled community participation and reduced residential garbage fees by more than a million dollars.

Those of you who are recycling, and there are many of you, helped us achieve these awards. Recycling participation has grown from 34% to 70% and with the new revenue sharing process we were able to pay off $1.6 million dollars in Solid Waste Department debt plus reduce garbage fees by more than a million dollars. By the time you read this you should already be noticing that reduction on your bill.

Recycling efforts were also a part of Fort Wayne’s receiving the Green Community Award.

In addition to recycling, the Green Community Award recognizes sustainable efforts in the community using LED lights, low-flow toilets, auto emission reduction through the City’s green fleet, a reduction of paper usage and the capture and use of methane produced at the Water Pollution Control Plant.

The contributions that lead to the Green Community Award have also saved the City money in water and electricity usage and, with our green fleet, we’ve been able to reduce fuel consumption, once again saving the City money.

Fleet Nationally Recognized

I should also share that our Fleet Department was honored as one of the top 40 Green Fleets in the country this month. The award given by Government Fleet magazine ranked Fort Wayne as No. 12 on the list. We were the only Indiana City to make the list.

The City fleet, which consists of about 1,800 vehicles including police, fire street, utility, animal care, parking, and neighborhood code — was recognized for reducing emissions, working with manufacturers to develop hybrid work trucks and employing other initiatives to make its fleet more energy efficient.

The Fort Wayne fleet was among the first Midwestern fleets to incorporate hybrid vehicles (dating back to 2004) and has been running B-20 (20 percent soybean oil) in diesel engines since 2005 and E-85 (85 percent ethanol or homegrown fuels) in police vehicles for four years.

Jobs Coming to Waynedale Area

No doubt, many of you have noticed the progress of the $36 million General Mills Customer Service Facility being built on Bluffton Road.

The foundation has been poured and walls have gone up on the building expected to be completed in August 2012.

The project will boost our economy, not only during the construction phase, but also by the creation of 65 new jobs in our community. General Mills has contracted with Excel Logistics to initiate the hiring process to fill the new positions; however, hiring is not slated to begin until next spring.

I’m proud to have General Mills in our community and wish them much success in their new expansion phase. The commitment to the Bluffton Road location will have a positive impact on the Waynedale area.