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MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR: LEGACY FORT WAYNE UPDATE

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I recently provided an update on Legacy Fort Wayne to City Council and announced a series of Legacy recommendations that call for transformational opportunities for our city.

Formed in 2011, Legacy Fort Wayne is an initiative to guide decision-making about the Fort Wayne Community Trust and City Light Lease Settlement funds. Currently, approximately $47 million in funding is available with an additional $28 million to be received over the next several years.

I would like to extend a special thank you to the Legacy Task Force, Legacy Champion Teams, Legacy Finance Team, and the Mayor's Advisory Board. They have invested their time, talent and energy for the Legacy Fort Wayne initiative. Their commitment and dedication are to be commended.

I also want to thank the countless number of people in our community who submitted ideas and proposals. By working together, we are moving our community forward in a positive direction. This has been a tremendous journey to think big and develop plans to bring about transformational change.

We provided the council with a status report on Legacy Fort Wayne, including a recap of the unprecedented public involvement and outreach, an overview of Legacy recommendations and the next steps to advance them.

The Legacy recommendations outlined below focus on economic development; downtown and riverfront development; and youth development/prep sports.

Downtown/Riverfront Development
Riverfront Development Plan and Implementation, Downtown Opportunity Fund and Downtown Trust, Downtown Area Higher Education Opportunity Fund, Downtown Overpass/Underpass Beautification and Lighting and the Ewing/Fairfield Conversion
Strategic Infrastructure
Gateways
Trail Development
Youth Development and Prep Sports
Youth Sports Assessment/Market Potential Study and Implementation
McMillen Community Center

Endowments
Fort Wayne Education Endowment
Fort Wayne Public Service/Social Service Endowment
Entrepreneurship Endowment
Downtown Public Art Endowment
Legacy Fort Wayne used 12 different communications methods encompassing seven open public forums, five specific audience meetings, group proposals, Meet-ups, Feedback Fort Wayne (UserVoice), the Legacy website's Idea Form, telephone calls, e-mails, U.S. Mail, hand delivery, Facebook, 311, and Mayor's Night In. To find out more or read the recommendation report, go to www.legacyfortwayne.org.

Legacy Fort Wayne asked each of us to look to the future, to think long term, to be bold. As a community, we took that challenge to heart. Each of the Legacy recommendations represents a unique opportunity to enhance Fort Wayne and better position us for growth. Each reflects our collective determination to build on our investments, build on our strengths and build on the promise of tomorrow. Each has the potential to be a real, true and lasting legacy.

Great news! City Council has approved the Fort Wayne Community Trust Ordinance. Honoring the input of the public, the ordinance ensures the best stewardship of the Legacy funds, promotes their continued careful investment and management, and defines their catalytic role in community development. In the coming weeks, my administration will go before City Council to discuss the Legacy projects in more detail and seek approval for many of the proposals that we presented at the October 30th meeting.

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Mayor Tom Henry
About This Author
A lifelong Fort Wayne resident, Mayor Thomas C. Henry is committed to public and community service. He was elected to his first term as Fort Wayne's Mayor November 6, 2007. Mayor Henry authors the "Message from the Mayor" column.
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