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LEAF PICKUP - MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR

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Now that summer is officially over, our neighborhoods are bursting with the sights and sounds of autumn. So, naturally, the City of Fort Wayne is planning for our annual curbside leaf pick-up.

This year, the City Street Department will conduct two leaf pick-ups in each neighborhood, beginning on October 21 and running through December 6. The leaf collection crews will start on the South side of the city and work their way North.

Leaf collection crews will be in the Waynedale area, and other South Side neighborhoods during the weeks of October 21- 25 and November 12 - 15. Residents are asked to have their leaves ready for pick-up on the first day of your scheduled week. Street department workers will be collecting leaves in your area sometime during those weeks, as weather permits. Crews will spend the Thanksgiving holiday week, November 25 – 29, playing "catch up" on leaf collecting in neighborhoods that were missed due to inclement conditions.

Here are a few tips that will help ensure that we have a smooth leaf pick-up process:

•Rake leaves onto the park strip area, not into the street, or put them in biodegradable yard waste bags and set the bags at the curb for collection.

•If you decide to collect your leaves in biodegradable bags, you can call 311 and have your leaves picked up within two business days.

•Inclement weather conditions or a heavy volume of leaves in one area may force us to slightly modify our schedule. Beginning October 21, residents may go to the city website, www.cityoffortwayne.org/leaves, or call the leaf hotline at 427-2302 to find out where crews will be collecting leaves that day.

Burning leaves within city limits is a violation of city code. The fine is $50; the fine will increase to $75, if not paid within 30 days.

On another note, our city is still abuzz with the unveiling of a $71 million investment planned for downtown Fort Wayne. I joined with Tim Ash, President and CEO of Ash Brokerage Corporation and Bill Bean, VP of Hanning & Bean Enterprises, Inc., along with Eric Doden, President, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, elected officials and community leaders to announce plans for Ash Brokerage's new national headquarters in the heart of Fort Wayne and a downtown residential development led by Hanning & Bean Enterprises.

While this development will certainly transform our downtown, it will also have a positive impact on entire community by creating jobs, spurring regional economic growth and attracting new business. This integrated initiative will result in new knowledge-based jobs, hundreds of construction jobs and new housing and retail.

The new development will be bordered by Wayne, Harrison, Berry, and Webster streets and utilize nearly a full square block.

Ash Brokerage plans to build a new corporate headquarters, with 95,000 square feet of office space to accommodate more than 200 employees; a parking garage and 21,600 square feet of first-floor retail space.
Ash also anticipates increasing its local workforce with 115 additional jobs.

Hanning & Bean Enterprises plans to construct a residential development, including 80 apartments, 10 to 14 condominiums, and six street-front townhouses. There would also be a rooftop park/green space on top of the parking garage.

The total public-private partnerships would result in $51.6 million in private dollars and $19.5 million being invested by the City of Fort Wayne. Construction would begin in March 2014 and take nearly two years to complete.

We're seeing unprecedented positive momentum in downtown. The heart of our City has become a destination place for business growth, housing, and entertainment. Proactive efforts to attract opportunities to downtown have positioned us for success.

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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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