Renaissance Square working group ‘Letter of Understanding’

Text of the Letter of Understanding sent to Mayor Tom Henry and the Allen County Commissioners from the working group studying the Renaissance Square utilitzation.

Hand Delivered
August 27, 2009

To: Mayor Tom Henry and Allen County Board of Commissioner Members Linda Bloom, William Brown, and Nelson Peters

From: John Stafford, Pat Roller and Mark Royse

While we realize that there has been no formal Memorandum of Understanding executed between the City of Fort Wayne and the Allen County Board of Commissioners regarding joint usage of the City-County Building (100 E. Main Street) and the facility at 200 E. Berry Street (commonly known as Renaissance Square), drafts of such a Memorandum included the concept of a “working group” to analyze potential joint usage of said facilities. We do, however, realize that there are general expectations that a “working group” consisting of (1) Mark Royse, Deputy Director of Economic Development for Allen County, representing the Allen County Board of Commissioners; (2) City Controller Pat Roller representing the Mayor of the City; and (3) John Stafford, Director of the Community Research Institute at IPFW representing a non-aligned third party will be studying the potential for co-location of the two facilities and making recommendations back to the Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners. It is also our understanding that this working group has the support of both the Mayor of Fort Wayne and the Allen County Board of Commissioners. Given those assumptions and understandings, the working group has begun meeting and has been working under the following parameters:

  1. That there are no pre-established limitations regarding what functions, departments and operations of City and County government could be considered for location in either of the facilities in question nor are there pre-established limitation regarding the required location for any functions. The working group does understand the strong community sentiment that the Fort Wayne police Department operations currently housed on Creighton Avenue and the functions of the County sheriff currently housed on the Kinder Building be co-located.
  2. That we should look at potential facility/space allocations from several perspectives, those being:
    a. best service to the public – that activities citizens of our community would most generally use in combination should, to the extent possible, be closely located
    b. that the location of functions, departments and operations should be allocated in a manner that promotes, rather than hinders, internal operating efficiencies of both City and County government as management entities
    c. that the location of functions, departments and operations should be allocated in manner that pays attention to and promotes the existing and potential cross-jurisdictional working relationships between City and County functions
  3. That recommendations brought forth from the working group should respect the financial parameters and limitations that have been expressed in the original financing plan for the use of 200 E. Berry as crafted by the City of Fort Wayne and the alternative proposal as crafted by the Board of County Commissioners. We recognize that there are limited financial resources available and that proposals not mindful of these pre-established limitations are beyond the scope of our charge.
  4. That both the City of Fort Wayne and Allen County have important facility decisions that must be finalized in the very near future. It is, therefore, our understanding, that it is important to provide “the working group” recommendation/s to the Mayor and Board of Commissioners by no later than September 30, 2009.
  5. That the working group will rely, to the greatest extent possible, on space studies and cost estimates that have been previously prepared for similar examinations in the recent past. As a result, any recommendations arising from the working group by the September 30th deadline will not included detailed architectural analysis nor detailed, newly prepared cost estimates.

We appreciate the confidence that you have expressed in our group. We also recognize the difficulty of the task that lies ahead. While we cannot guarantee that it is possible to find a solution that fully accommodates all of the parameters outlined above, but we can guarantee that we will work in a sincere and cooperative fashion to give the task our best effort. Any plan for co-location of City and County offices in the two facilities will likely be one that does not meet all of the desires of each unit individually. Some level of compromise will very likely be necessary. It is under that understanding that we will operate and would encourage your consideration of forthcoming recommendations to be considered in the same manner.

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