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IACT GREEN COMMUNITY - MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR

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Our City continues to develop creative, meaningful, and environmentally-friendly practices that save money and resources and benefit citizens and businesses. Recently, we were pleased to have our efforts recognized by the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns (IACT). IACT designated Fort Wayne as a Green Community last month at its annual conference in Indianapolis.

To be recognized as an IACT Green Community, Fort Wayne had to meet a minimum score on a 49-question survey in the areas of purchasing, operations, measuring success and sample projects. Scoring consideration was given to the size of the community and the likelihood it would follow through on implementing certain types of programs.

The City of Fort Wayne is a leader in using efficient and effective practices to better serve our community. Being designated as an IACT Green Community demonstrates our commitment to protecting the environment as we implement programs that maximize our financial resources and enhance the quality of life in Fort Wayne. Each day we strive to engage, innovate, and perform to make a positive difference for citizens and businesses.

I would also like to thank you, our citizens, for incorporating environmentally-friendly practices in your daily lives. Because of you, our residential recycling program continues to grow, saving money and resources for our community.

On another note, great things are happening in our City Utilities division. We recently celebrated the completion of a $22 million Ultraviolet Disinfection System that will be used to treat the 11 billion gallons of drinking water produced at our Three Rivers Water Filtration Plant each year. Our filtration plant provides top quality drinking water to more than 300,000 residents in Fort Wayne and Allen County.

This new UV system is an investment in the future. It adds an additional layer of disinfection and will give us flexibility to meet further regulations that may come along. I'm particularly pleased that we were able to hire more than 20 local engineering, construction and supply companies to construct and install this important investment.

For decades, City Utilities safely and successfully treated the community's drinking water with chlorine dioxide as its primary disinfectant. As data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirms, Fort Wayne has not had an issue with this current treatment technique or our drinking water. But due to the 1993 Cryptosporidium outbreak in Milwaukee that left nearly 70 dead and several hundred more ill, communities across the country, including Fort Wayne, were mandated by the EPA to implement a newer disinfection system that would destroy cryptosporidium at a higher level.

The UV technology that we're using is highly effective at removing microorganisms from water. This system sends high energy light rays into the water to disable and destroy the cells of microorganisms. It also allows us to reduce the use of chemicals used in treatment, such as chlorine dioxide and it will increase protection and help us meet the needs of the future. We were happy to learn that the tremendous effort with this project earned us a national award. Congratulations to our team in City Utilities for ensuring that we have an excellent water system for our community.

And, finally, in appreciation of those who have served our country in the military, the Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department invites veterans to enjoy breakfast and a round of golf for free on Veteran's Day – Monday, Nov. 11th! The breakfast is 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Community Center, 233 W. Main St., and preregistration is required by calling 427-6460. Entertainment will be provided by the American Legion Band and the Honor Flight of Northeast Indiana. Shoaff, McMillen and Foster Park Golf Courses will remain open one extra day this year, on November 11, to allow veterans to play golf for free. Those currently active in the military may also play for free on November 11. Please show your military ID when you arrive to play. Reserve your tee time by calling your favorite City golf course, or reserve a time at www.fortwayneparks.org.

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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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