I&M to be invited to the Council table

The Fort Wayne City Council

The Fort Wayne City Council met this evening in Committee Session with Councilmen Marty Bender and Tim Pape absent.

At the end of the Council meeting, Council President Tom Smith announced that he has invited the Administration to the Council table on September 15, 2009 and that their response was quick.


The purpose will be to discuss the “default” situation by I&M.  He read a sentence from the default letter sent to I&M by the Administration, which he said was of concern to him:

[…] If the Company fails to cure these defaults by the close of business on October 19, 2009, the City, without waiving any of its other rights, intends to terminate the Lease and take possession of the Leased Property and all Betterments, Enlargements and Extensions.

He added that he feels it important for the City to come before the Council to update them on the situation and what is going on.  It is then Smith’s intention to contact Indiana Michigan this week and to invite them to speak to the Council as well, hopefully a week or two after the Administration’s appearance.  He hopes this will allow the Council to hear both sides of the issue.  He then wants to possibly take it a step further and allow the public an opportunity for them to address the Council as well.

I have to say this is a refreshing development.  Kudos to Smith for wanting to get out in front of this issue, as much as the timeline will allow this, and for planning for input from both sides and the public.  This is the leadership we need and it’s exactly the type of communication that needs to happen.


Foster Park

The ordinance for the Foster Park Pavilion #1 improvements was passed, 7-0.  The Parks and Recreation department provided some photos of damage that will be repaired during the project.  You may download them here.  The total cost of the project is $155,300 with half coming from John and Julia Oldenkamp and the other half from a variety of sources including $15,000 from At-Large CEDIT dollars, $2,000 from the Journal Gazette (Foundation?) and the park’s capital fund.


Councilman John Shoaff talked a little about the giving of private citizens to the Parks in this city.  He then went on to specifically talk about the Headwaters Park Alliance which is a non-profit organization that manages Headwaters Park.

[…] In fact, we have one part of that in the Headwaters Park Alliance, which I think you all understand is a 501c(3) organization which by contract manages Headwaters Park – I think not only manage it well, but they exist because the private sector wanted them to.  The private sector has put $12 million into that park, and currently put about $75,000 in contributions directly the Alliance.  And, in addition to that, they funded a million dollar endowment which throws off income which also supports the park.  So, there’s a continuing instance of the effectiveness of this kind of relationship.

I mention this only as a point of information to keep in mind over the next month or two.

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