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Legacy Fund breakdown
Fort Wayne officials have spent nearly two years developing recommendations for the Legacy Fort Wayne money, sifting through more than 1,000 ideas from the community. In addition to the Higher Education Fund, other approved projects include:
•A study costing up to $500,000 examining riverfront development in downtown Fort Wayne.
•A $1 million trust that purchases or options downtown properties of strategic value.
•$700,000 to beautify overpasses that would serve as gateways to downtown with unique signs and art light.
•$500,000 for way-finding signs, corridor enhancements and interchange beautification along and adjacent to city’s major gateway corridors.
•$3 million to convert Ewing and Fairfield from one-way to two-way, plus a roundabout at Superior Street.
•$1 million for the local match needed for previously committed federal dollars for several city trail projects.
•Up to $200,000 for a study on becoming regionally/nationally recognized in youth/prep sports.
•$2 million renovation of the former McMillen Ice Arena, converting it into a community center.

Legacy put to use luring more colleges downtown

Fort Wayne officials are offering a multimillion-dollar incentive they hope persuades more colleges and universities to create permanent campuses in the downtown area.

Using part of the Legacy Fort Wayne money, the Higher Education Opportunity Fund will provide up to $8 million to help colleges and universities establish facilities downtown or in certain surrounding neighborhoods.

Letters were recently sent to college and university presidents throughout Indiana and the surrounding region inviting them to submit potential projects to be funded, the mayor announced Monday.

The Legacy Fund was created from the money collected from the lease and sale of the city’s old electric utility, City Power & Light.

There is about $47 million on hand in the fund, with an additional $28 million anticipated from additional payments over the next 12 years.

The city is setting aside $30 million to be available for large projects in the future, Community Development Director John Urbahns said.

The process for the new opportunity fund has no deadline, and applications will be considered as they are submitted, Urbahns said.

The city’s money requires a three-to-one match by the applicant.

All applications must include proposals for capital expenses and a long-term commitment – listed as 20 to 30 years – to downtown or the central urban neighborhoods.

Some of the other criteria the city will consider include:

•Emphasis on significantly increasing education and training opportunities in and around the city’s core business district.

•A minimum project cost of $1 million with a maximum grant from the fund of $3 million.

•Number of jobs created, both during construction and long-term.

•Number of students regularly using the facility.

•Whether the facility will serve as a catalyst for additional development.

•The innovative nature of the project.

“We know how critical education is to the future success of our city. Education will lead to a skilled workforce that has the ability to compete for jobs,” Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry said. “Innovative partnerships will help bring transformational change to our community.”

Recent investments in downtown Fort Wayne include the purchase of the Scottish Rite Center and the Chamber Building by the University of Saint Francis and enhancements to Indiana Tech, including a new law school.

To start the application process contact Sharon Feasel, Higher Education Opportunity Fund manager, at 427-2107.

For more information visit www.legacyfortwayne.org.

vsade@jg.net

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