I went to the Northwest Area Partnership Meeting tonight. The Mayor was the guest speaker.
The Northwest Area Partnership is an organization of Homeowners Associations in the Northwest quadrant of Fort Wayne.
There were 50 people present. Between 15 and 20 were members of the media or City employees of various sorts... I sat with fellow blogger Jeff Pruitt at the meeting.
The Mayor gave a presentation about what he has accomplished as Mayor and discussed Harrison Square. Here are some of the things that he said that caught my attention:
1. He said that Fort Wayne will get 14 million in grants for green ways while spending only two million. That is impressive.
2. Fort Wayne is installing 6 new miles of water lines per year.
3. Fort Wayne is paving 50 miles of road per year. He also mentioned that once you include the newly annexed areas Fort Wayne now has 1200 miles of roads.
4. He said that wages in Fort Wayne were 83% of the national wage.
5. He said the clean air and clean water were very important for a City and that future Cities will be judged on these issues.
6. He said that fixing the CSO problem would cost 350 - 450 million dollars. (This is less then the 600 million I have heard)
7. He said that the owners of the Wizards think we need a new baseball stadium in order to grow their fan base as much as they plan. He also said that the new Baseball Stadium would be a "Townsquare Meeting Place."
The Mayor gave a good presentation and is a good speaker. He came across as being smart and well informed...
After his presentation he took questions from 8 or 9 of the people present. All of the people except one was against the Harrison Square Project... Realize these people are often the President of their local Neighborhood Association...
Jeff Pruitt asked some questions and I expect he will make a blog entry about it.
I also asked some questions.
1. I asked if The Mayor would arrange for me to meet with his staff so that I could create financial statements for the project. He took my business card and told me he would make sure that I get the information I need. I am looking forward to it.
2. I asked The Mayor why the hotel had started at 360 rooms, then the RFP was for 300 rooms, and the current bid is for 250 rooms. He said that he did not know how many rooms the hotel would have. That has not been determined yet. The brochure passed out at the meeting stated 300 rooms.
3. I asked the Mayor about the Parking Garage and its financing; he said the financing for this had not been decided yet...
The Mayor basically said that they do not have an actual financing plan in place yet and that the details are being worked out. He did however say that he hoped to have it to the City Council by late March or early April...
I said that I was surprised that he wanted to get this in front of The City Council considering how many things were still up in the air...
I am glad I attended the meeting, it was very informative...