I recently joined members of our Public Works Department, our elected officials and community and neighborhood leaders to unveil planned improvements to the City's transportation system. The recent announcement was made possible by the leadership of my Administration, the Fiscal Policy Group, neighborhood and business leaders, and the members of City Council, who supported and passed a financial plan for the future. This forward-thinking plan calls for the $13.6 million that will be available in annual funding to assist with maintaining streets and roads without having to borrow money.
The planned improvements will include 50 miles of paving; 10 miles of concrete reconstruction; brick street improvements; 12 miles of chip and seal repairs and sidewalk enhancements, curb and ramp repairs and street light improvements. Additional improvement projects for 2014 will be determined in the coming months.
The Public Works staff has a stringent rating system to evaluate the condition of streets and roads. Besides looking at street ratings, staff members work closely with neighborhood presidents and council members to evaluate the priorities of each council district.
Our transportation system is critical to meeting the needs of citizens and businesses. By maintaining streets and roads, we're showing a strong commitment to being a growing community that values quality of life, great neighborhoods, and a thriving business climate.
The good news doesn't stop there. Our Public Works officials estimate that the maintenance to the transportation system will create over 300 construction jobs that will provide a boost to the local economy.
This announcement continues a series of successes resulting from the City's proactive approach to meeting the needs of our citizens. Last month, the Fire Department announced a hiring initiative to add 15 new firefighters, the Police Department announced 20 new police officers will be hired, and the Parks Department announced plans to invest $3 million annually in various projects throughout the City's Parks system.
With this solid plan, our City continues to show that we are a community built for success.
Speaking of our wonderful Parks system, we were thrilled to have more than 70 Lincoln Financial Group employees recently volunteer their time by spending a day painting the pavilions and cutting overgrown vegetation at Franke Park. The Parks & Recreation Department encourages groups and individuals to volunteer through the Adopt a Playground Program. This is a great way to get involved and generate community pride through personal interaction and ownership of City playgrounds and doesn't take much time. Our Adopt-a-Playground program offers citizens a way to help keep our playgrounds safe and inviting places for our city's children. To learn more about Adopt-a-Playground, visit www.fortwayneparks.org and select Parks, then Adopt-a-Playground.
As summer fades away, enjoy these final days of summer and have a Happy Labor Day!