FORT WAYNE – Groups will now be able to seek millions of dollars for capital improvements in Allen County – so long as their projects will help attract or retain high-wage jobs.
Members of the Capital Improvement Board on Thursday announced the launch of their website, AllenCountyCIB.org, which will be the only way people can make applications for grants or loans.
The board collects some state income and sales taxes from IPFW, Grand Wayne Center, Memorial Coliseum and the Holiday Inn near the Coliseum. But the bulk of its financing comes from the county’s food and beverage tax not needed to finance Coliseum debt.
The board received $3.1 million in early 2011 and $1.1 million this year. It must wait 12 months after receiving money to spend it.
Because the board has no staff, it will use the website as the sole source for groups to submit applications for the money. Projects must be in Allen County and be for construction or infrastructure projects, according to state law, meaning the money can’t be used to finance operations. The board also placed its own criteria for projects, such as whether they support high-wage jobs.
“We hope to use this capital improvement fund to increase the wealth of the community,” said Ben Campbell, board president.
Concepts submitted through the website will be reviewed by a subcommittee that will include board members and non-members to ensure the idea meets with the board’s goals. If the concept is approved by the board – the subcommittee will only be making recommendations – the applicant will be permitted to submit a full application.