Office of the Mayor
The Mayor oversees the implementation of policies and the efficient flow of ongoing services through wide appointive powers. This includes the capability to appoint the heads of seven major administrative divisions of the city and many board and commission members. Specific departments under the Office of the Mayor include the Public Information Office, Human Resources, Benefits, Cable, the Neighborhood and Citizen's Advocate Office, the Law Department, the Internal Audit Department, and Information Systems/ACS.
The office of the City Clerk is crucial as a liaison between the citizens of Fort Wayne and the Common Council. The City Clerk also acts as a liaison between the Administration and the Common Council. The office includes a number of Indiana Statutory responsibilities and also serves as the administrator of the City of Fort Wayne Violations Bureau.
Finance & Administration
The mission of the Finance and Administration Division is to create and operate the proper financial systems and provide administrative services for city government. The departments within this division are the Controller's Office, Risk Management, Payroll, Purchasing, and Property Management. The Mayor appoints the City Controller, who is head of the Finance and Administration Division. The Controller is responsible for the annual budget and audit.
The overall purpose of the Division is to improve Fort Wayne's physical and economic environment. The Division includes the Administration office which includes Fiscal and the following departments including: Redevelopment, Land Use and Development, Community Development Corporation, Planning, Community Development Projects including Housing and Neighborhood Services.
The mission of the Division is to develop and implement community-based strategies to enhance economic opportunity, build strong neighborhoods, and ensure a framework for quality growth and development. Economic development and urban renewal continue to be high priorities of the City of Fort Wayne. Growth in the City's assessed value is essential to holding its property tax rate flat and ensuring that the cost of City services is shared by those who use the services.
The City's Division of Community Development is primarily responsible for these efforts, both through its various departments' activities and those of contractors. The City contracts with the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance (“The Alliance”) to coordinate economic development marketing services and project management.
The key initiatives highlighted here provide a sample of the City's community development activities:
Business and Industrial Development
· Airport Development: The Alliance, under contract with the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority, markets the property in and around Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA) for aerospace and industrial use. In 2004, the Alliance and the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority announced several successful efforts to improve the airport terminal, including the attraction of DeBrand Fine Chocolates and Vera Bradley to retail space, and the establishment of a wireless center for business travelers.
The newest tenant in the Airport's Business Center, Shimizu Densetsu Kogyo (Seavac) announced in 2004 that it would build its first production facility in the United States.The company's $3.75 million investment includes construction of a 10,350 square foot facility and installation of new manufacturing, research and development, and information technology equipment. The company will create 20 full-time and 4 part-time positions as a result of this project in Fort Wayne.
· Business Development/Expansion: 2004 began with the announcement in February that Valbruna Corporation was the successful bidder for the former Slater Steels facility on Taylor Street that closed in November, 2003. Sales and production at the now renamed Valbruna Slater Stainless facility began in July, 2004. The company employs 45 and plans to add 35 to its payroll within 18 months.
One of the largest reinvestment announcements in 2004 was Fort Wayne Foundry's plan to invest $25.5 million in facility and equipment improvements at its Conestoga Drive facility. The company will retain 58 employees and create 10 new positions as a result of this investment.
Year-to-date in 2004, the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance has worked with more than 20 companies that have announced expansions in Fort Wayne. These businesses are investing over $69 million in new plant or equipment and project over 300 new jobs and the retention of over 2,400 employees.
· Community Revitalization Enhancement District (CReED): In 2003, preliminary plans were developed for the establishment of a community revitalization enhancement district for downtown. Final district boundaries and the plan for development within the district were completed and submitted for state approval in 2004. One of the benefits of creating a CReED is a 25 percent investor tax credit for qualified investment within the district, representing a significant catalyst for private sector investment in the downtown.
· Market/Feasibility Studies: In 2004, a market study for development of a third downtown hotel was completed. This study documented the demand for a new 300 room full-service hotel in downtown Fort Wayne, to primarily serve demand generated by the expanded Grand Wayne Center. A Request for Qualifications will be utilized to identify potential hotel developers by the end of 2004.
· Grand Wayne Center Expansion: Progress continues on the construction of the Grand Wayne Center expansion, on track for completion in the spring of 2005. The existing convention space closed in the summer of 2004 for renovation. In addition, the adjoining Civic Center parking garage is undergoing renovations.
· Downtown Library Expansion: Progress continues on the $65 million expansion of the downtown main branch of the Allen County Public Library, scheduled for completion in December, 2006. The expanded library will include a new 280-seat auditorium, significant new shelf space for public access to the library's book collection, a café and outdoor plaza for gatherings and scheduled activities.
· North River Development Opportunities: Proposals were developed in 2004 for the redevelopment of approximately 50 acres north of the St. Mary's River adjacent to downtown for a Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center. Development proposed for the site includes restoration of the existing YWCA campus, a new world-class aquatics center, indoor track and field facility, and privately financed ice arena and indoor water park. Corporate offices and retail may also be included in the development.
· Southeast Retail Revitalization: MetroEdge, a market research consulting firm, completed work in 2004 to quantify market demand for retail investment in the City's Southeast quadrant. This study was presented to real estate and development professionals to assist in marketing the area for retail development.
· Southtown: In 2004, the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission acquired ownership to the former Southtown Mall property and began environmental remediation and demolition in preparation for development of a new Menards home improvement store. Construction on Menards will begin in the spring of 2005 and be complete by December, 2005.
· Hanna Creighton Project: A new Pontiac Branch of the Allen County Public Library and a new CANI Headstart facility were completed and dedicated in 2004 on the former site of blighted housing and a liquor store in the heart of the Hanna Creighton neighborhood in Southeast Fort Wayne. A new Urban League headquarters and after-school youth center will be completed on the site by the end of 2004, completing one of the most innovative faith-based public-private partnerships in the City's history.
· Indiana Institute of Technology Expansion: Work was completed in 2004 to expand the campus of Indiana Tech in the East Central neighborhood of Fort Wayne. The College added new student housing, the new Don Andorfer Commons student union building, and a new soccer field in the heart of East Central in downtown Fort Wayne.
City Utilities and Public Works
The City Utilities Administration Department represents the office of the Director of Utilities and is responsible for enforcement and interpreting City Utilities rules and regulations. City Utilities encompasses the departments of Accounting, Customer Relations, Data Control, Meter Reading, New Water and Sewer Permits, Water Resources (Development Services, Planning and Design, Engineering Support Services, Geographical Information Systems), Water Maintenance and Service, Water Filtration Plant, Water Pollution Control Maintenance, Storm water Maintenance, and Water Pollution Control Plant.
The Division of Public Works is the administrator for much of Fort Wayne's infrastructure. Its departments maintain and improve the City's system for transportation and solid waste. From engineering and intersection improvement to battling floods, the Division of Public Works provides a vital support to neighborhoods, businesses, and economic development projects. The Division encompasses the Office of the Director, Barrett Law, Solid Waste Management, City Engineering, Traffic Engineering, Transportation Engineering, Right of Way, Street Light Engineering, Street Department, Street Project Management, Flood Control, and City Garage.
Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation
The Parks and Recreation Department maintains over 2,000 acres of public park lands and provides numerous recreation facilities, programs and services for the Fort Wayne community. The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department was created in 1905 and is administered by a four member bipartisan Board of Park Commissioners. The Park Board, by state statute, reviews and approves the annual budget, expenditures, and the awarding of contracts. In addition, they oversee the Children's Zoo, Headwaters Park, the Botanical Conservatory, McMillen Ice Arena, 84 different parks, and three community centers.
The comprehensive plan that was started in 2003 was approved in September 2004. In the next year, staff and the board will be making decisions based on the plan. Exciting projects include expanding the greenway, improving existing facilities, and acquiring more parks.
In addition, staff has completed the National Recreation and Park Association Accreditation process. National Accreditation means meeting 153 standards set forth by the Council on Accreditation of Parks and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).
We are looking forward to celebrating our 100 years of being a Park Board in 2005, with many initiatives underway.
The Division provides safety, maintains order and protects the rights of the Citizens of Fort Wayne. The Fire Chief and Chief of Police retain the responsibility for major policy decisions, budgeting, long-range planning and the day-to-day coordination of seven departments: Police, Fire, Animal Control, Weights and Measures, Neighborhood Code, Police Merit Commission, and Communications.