The City of Fort Wayne’s proposed budget for 2017 will be presented at tonight’s City Council meeting.
The balanced budget continues Mayor Tom Henry’s commitment to providing needed services to residents, neighborhoods, and businesses. The budget also reflects Fort Wayne’s position as a leader in economic development opportunities, job growth, strong neighborhoods and quality of life amenities that make our community a point of destination for investment and growth.
“We’re seeing momentum, investments, and excitement in Fort Wayne like never before. I’m encouraged the 2017 budget places a priority on public safety, neighborhood infrastructure, and our award-winning Parks,” said Mayor Henry. “Strong leadership and placing an emphasis on moving our community forward in the right direction with fiscal discipline is resulting in thriving neighborhoods, a positive business climate, and new jobs.”
The property tax supported budget, also known as the Civil City budget, totals $158 million. This budget does not include Fort Wayne City Utilities, which has its own budget funded by ratepayers.
2017 budget highlights:
*Academy class for the Fort Wayne Police Department to hire 28 new police officers. The additions will allow the FWPD to have more than 460 officers patrolling City streets to protect the public.
*Continuation of commitment to neighborhood street, road, and sidewalk improvement projects – $23.8 million
*Investments in maintenance projects in City Parks – $7.7 million, which includes funding from a park bond to be considered by the Board of Park Commissioners and City Council
*Utilize the State of Indiana’s allowable tax levy to assist in preserving funding to provide essential services
The 2017 budget is a continuation of the work performed by the bipartisan Fiscal Policy Group created by Mayor Henry. Three years ago, Mayor Henry, Fiscal Policy Group members, City Council and neighborhood and business leaders worked together on the passage of a financial plan to save money and bring additional revenue to the City. The results have included an increase in the number of police officers and firefighters, record amounts of neighborhood street, road, and sidewalk improvements, and needed enhancements and maintenance to City Parks.
However, Fort Wayne and cities and towns across the State of Indiana continue to face budgetary challenges. Property tax caps have forced local governments to fund essential services with less revenue. Fort Wayne’s proactive approach to enacting successful financial strategies to ensure sustainability and viability now and in the future has lessened the negative impact locally.
The budget is available online at http://www.cityoffortwayne.org/smartgov/.