I recently joined with Legacy Fort Wayne leaders to discuss the request for proposals (RFP) for a Riverfront Development Study for the City of Fort Wayne. This will be the first comprehensive look at the City's rivers to determine opportunities to enhance the riverfront.
We are currently seeking proposals from qualified consultants and consultant teams. Proposals are due on April 12 and interviews with finalists will occur in May. A final selection is expected to be made this summer. It's anticipated the study will take nine to 18 months to complete.
The study's areas of focus will include land use; engineering and infrastructure investment; watershed issues; trail connectivity; access to the river; urban design guidelines; retail; entertainment and housing.
I'm confident that this is going to be a tremendous year for the Legacy initiative. The riverfront study is a great first step as we will begin to see transformational change in our community.
The Riverfront Development Study is the first project to be funded by Legacy Fort Wayne dollars and is intended to provide the road map to a world-class investment. The entire RFP can be viewed at www.legacyfortwayne.org.
On another subject, The City's Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services invites residents to attend the Housing & Neighborhood Fair to learn about home improvement, down payment assistance and homebuyer education programs.
The event will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, March 1, in the Omni Room on the lower level of Citizens Square, 200 E. Berry Street. At the Housing Fair, residents can submit applications for the Neighborhood Impact Program, which provides a forgivable loan up to $15,000 for qualified homeowners.
A forgivable loan can be used for everything from roof repair to new windows to a new furnace. Residents don't have to make payments on a forgivable loan as long as they live in a home as their primary residence and maintain homeowner's insurance. If these requirements are met for five years, the loan is forgiven.
Applications for the program will be taken at the Housing Fair. Telephone pre-screenings for the program will be conducted March 4 - 15. For more information, call (260) 427-8585 or 311. Language translation services are available.
And, on a final note, I would like to thank all of our citizens who volunteer their time to make our city a great place to live. While every contribution is valued, I want to especially thank the community leaders who have shown their commitment to making improvements in our city. I recently joined with Visit Fort Wayne to recognize and honor local organization and club presidents at a reception at the Grand Wayne Convention Center. Held on President's Day, the event gave us a chance to show our appreciation to approximately 50 local presidents for their hard work and dedication in leading their organizations, while making Fort Wayne a better place to work, live and play.