The Fort Wayne City Council meets tomorrow, February 3rd 2009 in room 128 of the City-County Building. Â The agenda may be downloaded here.
Most significant on the agenda is the scheduled appearance of Â a representative from White Lodging who will give the City Council a status update of their Courtyard By Marriott Hotel to be built in Harrison Square.
At the end of last week’s City Council meeting, Councilman Tim Pape stated that he didn’t feel a need for White Lodging to be brought to the table:
Councilwoman Liz Brown responded:
I don’t think anything new will come out of the presentation. Â We’ll probably be told that financing hasn’t been secured. Â This community’s future is on the line with this project. Â If the hotel is not built, it jeopardizes the financial well-being of our local government and the services it provides to us – mainly public safety components. Â Yes, this has been publicized much lately. Â But, if you remember back, they’ve been trying to get White Lodging to come before City Council since November of last year. Â For whatever reasons, those attempts were rebuffed. Â As far as I know, White Lodging did not inform the City officially that it would not be realizing it’s construction start date of December 31st last year as required by the Definitive Agreement. Â We haven’t seen officials from White Lodging before the public since February 21st 2008. Â I think we’re past due for an official appearance – even if it is only to say that nothing has happened and they’re still working on it.
Other items on the agenda
There are three ordinances approving software for a bridge that will allow 9-1-1 Communications to transfer calls easily and seamlessly to the Three Rivers Ambulance Authority. Â This was first talked about before the Council on September 16th last year. Â At that time, Tina Taviano, City Communications Director, stated the bridge would cost approximately $600,000+. Â (The total of the three ordinances is roughly $662K.) Â She was working on finding funding for the project, but the need for it was readily apparent. Â
If a call for an ambulance is received by 9-1-1, there’s a chance, when it’s being transferred to TRAA dispatchers, that the call could be lost. Â The potential for delays is magnified with cell phone usage as it’s not always readily apparent to dispatchers where the call is coming from. Â If a cell call was dropped, the caller would have to call back which would mean added response time and possibly the difference between life and death. Â It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Â Where is the money coming from? Â Has she found a source, and is this merely a formality since it exceeds the $100,000 threshold? Â
Personally, I always felt if Parkview could spend $3 million to name a ballpark, they could afford a measly $600K for a bridge that in the end would benefit themselves as much as the general public – and probably be more appreciated!Â
Also of possible interest will be the handling of the discussion regarding: the contract with the Sexual Assault Treatment Center, Aircard purchase for the Fort Wayne Police Department, contract with Cintas for uniforms and floor mats and the contract with DID.
Councilman Mitch Harper’s ordinance requiring the City to provide monthly financial statements to the City Council will also be discussed. Â Several Councilpersons have, over the last 13 months, asked at various times for this to be provided by the City. Â The City, thus far has refused. Â If you remember, I mentioned on this blog a while back that I felt the ordinance was vague and left out a provision that would also provide a list of the $50,000 to $99,999 contracts that are awarded.
I have been told that one of the reasons for the “vagueness” of the ordinance (vague is my choice of words), is the hope that the Administration will readily agree to Â comply with the request. Â That doesn’t look like it will happen, however, as evidenced by this in the, written by Ben Lanka:
[…]Â He also said he supported the proposal by Councilman Mitch Harper, R-4th, to require the city administration to provide the council with monthly financial reports. That bill will likely be discussed next week.
Deputy Mayor Greg Purcell said the city was always happy to work with the council on the budget, but he cautioned that additional reporting requirements would mean more work for an already taxed staff. […]
The Administration may be given the opportunity to address the Council regarding this issue.
All in all, another interesting evening at the City-County Building.