“Front Door” Aims To Transform Community – Emphasis On Central Core

Fort Wayne To Spend $420,000 On ‘Front Doors’

The major entrances into Fort Wayne are so critical to the city’s success that Mayor Tom Henry wants to spend nearly a half-million dollars to improve them.

On Wednesday, Henry announced he intends to dedicate $420,000 to finance projects that are part of the city’s Front Door Fort Wayne plan. The plan targets major gateways into the city, such as Ardmore Avenue, Airport Expressway and Coliseum Bouelvard.

“The front door plan is about the economics of first impressions,” he said.

Henry noted the two improved railroad overpasses and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge are recent examples of what the city can do to beautify the entrances into the community. The plan doesn’t focus solely on the downtown entry points, however, as it calls for an improved at interchanges along Interstate 69.

The plan was created by Henry’s gateway committee, which started its work about two years ago. The plan will go to the City Council for discussion next week, he said.

Cheri Becker, co-chair of the committee, said improved gateways show visitors they can expect a dynamic community.

“These gateways are points of pride for all of us,” she said.

The money Henry wants to dedicate to the plan is part of the $8.5 million in income taxes the state erroneously withheld from the city. The mayor previously announced he wants to use $3.5 million from the state error money for transportation projects and $1.5 million to help address the city’s ash tree problem.

With this new announcement, the city has allocated about $5.4 million of the available money.

Part of the $420,000 will go toward a new system of signs, pathways and landmarks to help visitors and residents find their way around the community. Part will be kept as a matching program to partner with private businesses or civic organizations to improve gateways.

Pam Holocher, with the city’s community development department, said the city would like to improve more railroad overpasses with not only exterior signs but also lights for those driving under them.

In addition, organizations could partner with the city to improve road medians. She said the city could install them for groups willing to maintain them.

The city has identified several potential projects, but it has not selected any specific projects to pursue immediately, according to John Urbahns, director of community development. Projects could include city welcome markers near the city limits on Washington Boulevard, Jefferson Boulevard, Coldwater Road, Airport Expressway and Lafayette Street.

-Journal Gazette

Original article can be found HERE

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Categories: Beautification, Goverment

One Comment on ““Front Door” Aims To Transform Community – Emphasis On Central Core”

  1. June 21, 2012 at 2:20 AM #

    I thought I would leave my initial comment. Keep writing, cause your posts are impressive! Doesn’t it take up a lot of time to keep your blog.

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