Congrats to Mayor Graham Richard and his team of real estate experts for making a major breakthrough regarding the future of Southtown Mall! As I am sure you've heard Menards has made a preliminary commitment to build a retail facility at Southtown. Getting to this point has been a long and challenging process with several false starts but I'm optimistic that real progress will now be made. As I've said many times, I feel sure that citizens of the south side, as well as, those throughout Fort Wayne and the region will support Menards and other future businesses at the mall.
As a solid advocate of "Community-Oriented Government" I've recently reviewed the current status of neighborhoods in the 4th District. I felt that this was an important step to take at this time, especially since all councilmanic districts were recently redistricted, as you are probably aware. Most of the approximately 40 neighborhoods in the district are well organized which helps me work as effectively as possible whether the challenge is fighting crime, repairing streets or upgrading utilities. A few associations need active leadership. If your association is organized and active, please offer your support. If not, I encourage you to volunteer to spend some time helping make your neighborhood a strong link in "Community-Oriented Government." Give me a call if you are interested and I'll help you get started.
With the above thoughts in mind this is an important time to remind all neighborhood leaders that you should have already received the request form for 2004's CEDIT projects in your area. January and February are excellent months for open community discussion regarding 2004 CEDIT-funded projects in your neighborhood prior to the filing deadline that has been moved up to March 15, 2003. Since the 4th District is now larger (after redistricting) and the district CEDIT budget has been reduced by $50,000 due to budgetary restrictions, careful proactive planning is more important than ever. Give me a call or e-mail me with any questions regarding your neighborhoods CEDIT requests.
Combined city/county/state planning continues for what will eventually be a direct highway connection between the Airport Expressway to the south and points as far north as Washington Road. I've been told by planners that both the Ardmore-Hillegas extension to the north and the extension of Ardmore south to the Airport Expressway are likely to be completed in 2003. These projects have been delayed in the past but hopefully they will become reality in 2003! At least 2 of the benefits should be enhanced use of Ft. Wayne International Airport as well as increased patronage for businesses in the "Waynedale News" area.
Give me a call if there are any problems with snow removal this winter. And don't forget to give a pat on the back—and perhaps a cup of coffee or hot chocolate—to snow crews when they come down your street!
City Councilman 4th District