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PARKS & REC - MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR

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Our City Police and Fire Departments are not the only divisions making great strides, thanks to a fiscal proposal that developed an investment strategy for our city's future. Our newly-developed fiscal policy is not only enabling us to hiring 15 firefighters and 20 police officers, it is also enabling us to make necessary improvements to our Parks system.

I recently joined with Parks officials and other city leaders in announcing that our new fiscal policy plan includes allocating $3 million in annual funding to assist with maintenance and improvement projects at Parks facilities, without having to borrow money.

Highlights of the Parks Improvement Plan include development of a Hamilton Park Splash Pad, additional restrooms in Shoaff Park, an annual tree replacement/treatment program and implementation of the first year of a 10-year plan to resurface and/or repair roadways, parking lots, tennis courts and basketball courts throughout our Park system. Phase One of this program also include renovation of the Diehm Museum Pavilion.

These improvement were made possible thanks to the leadership of my Administration, the Fiscal Policy Group, neighborhood and business leaders, and the members of City Council, who supported and passed a forward-thinking financial plan for the future.

By investing in our future, we're demonstrating a commitment to a great quality of life that's sustainable and positions us for success. Children, families, and neighborhoods benefit by having a Parks system that provides tremendous recreational, educational and social opportunities for growth and development. I continue to be encouraged by the positive momentum taking place throughout the City of Fort Wayne.

On another note, we also recently announced the selection of a consultant team to lead a Downtown Riverfront Development Study.

SWA Group, an urban planning, design and landscape architecture firm working worldwide from seven locations, will lead the first comprehensive look at our City's rivers to determine opportunities to enhance the riverfront. SWA has extensive expertise in riverfront development in the U.S. and around the world.

SWA's team will include Fort Wayne-based MKM Architecture + Design; Biohabitats; Moffatt & Nichol; and AMEC. Additional information about SWA can be found at www.swagroup.com.

It's anticipated the study will take 12 to 18 months to complete and work will begin next month. The study is a $500,000 investment funded by Legacy dollars. Our citizens will play an important role in providing feedback and suggestions throughout the study process.

The riverfront provides a valuable opportunity to position ourselves for future growth and success. We look forward to working with SWA and learning from them on ways to make downtown riverfront development a sustainable reality for our community. The positive momentum we continue to see in our City is a tremendous indicator that we're ready for transformational change!

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Fort Wayne 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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