County Commissioners response to City Re: Renaissance Square

A letter was sent to Mayor Tom Henry and Fort Wayne City Council President Tom Smith on Monday from the Allen County Commissioners.  The letter was in response to the City’s announcement of the proposed purchase and subsequent move from the City-County Building into Renaissance Square.

Full text of the letter:

Dear Mayor Henry and Council President Smith:

During our legislative session this past Friday, there was discussion regarding the Mayor’s plan to purchase the former Renaissance Square building for use as a city hall. Several questions and concerns were raised about the plan’s potential savings for both City and County governments, the impact it will have on taxpayers and its effect on future City-County cooperative endeavors. This was not intended to be critical of the idea as much as to clarify the County’s position.

In an effort to create a workable approach to local government, we have developed an idea we would like the City to consider. We believe the Mayor’s proposal offers the opportunity for the City and County to revisit the idea of a joint location for Fort Wayne’s public safety agencies and the Allen County Sheriff’s Department discussed most recently last September. Since the Renaissance building is currently vacant, we propose moving those departments there. This would be in addition to the County developing three “satellite offices” for the Sheriff’s Department in locations throughout Allen County. The County would be interested in considering a leasing arrangement for space within Renaissance for the Sheriff similar to the deal currently in place for City offices within the City-County Building.

We also propose that those City and County administrative departments currently housed in the City-County Building remain in that facility. This would alleviate the need to move any office twice. It would also allow us to continue to build on some of the cooperative efforts already under way. If the City so chooses, ancillary offices such as City Utilities could be housed in Renaissance as well. If there is a need to relocate any City department to Renaissance, the City’s current lease with the County for space in the CCB would be renegotiated.

Through a potential reduction in rent to the City in the City-County Building and the County renting from the City in the Renaissance building, we believe this creates a win-win situation.

In conclusion, we recognize there are numerous details and specifics to be worked out on the part of both parties before this could become a reality. But we believe that this is a sensible, workable idea that would allow us to continue to enhance services to the citizens of Allen County and Fort Wayne while providing for even more fiscally responsible government. Please contact us if you should have any questions or wish to discuss this proposal further. We look forward to your response.

The Board of Commissioners of the County of Allen, Indiana


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