Mayor Tom Henry today announced that 11 neighborhood associations are being awarded grants to improve their communities.
This year, the Community Development Division launched the Neighborhood Improvement Grant program, which is designed to support neighborhood projects that beautify public spaces and strengthen community involvement.
“In order for our community to be vibrant, we must continue to invest in our neighborhoods and make them welcoming and attractive places,” said Mayor Henry. “This program allows our neighborhood leaders to find innovative and creative ways to improve their public spaces and bring residents together.”
Grants up to $5,000 were available for registered Fort Wayne neighborhood associations or one of the City’s four Area Partnerships. Because the grant dollars come from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), only neighborhoods with a majority of households at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income were eligible to apply. Accepted projects needed to provide a capital improvement that enhances spaces within public view. Routine maintenance, social events or operating expenses were not eligible.
Community Development will evaluate the grant program after the projects are completed and will take lessons learned to improve the process in 2019.
Grant recipients and their projects include:
- Bloomingdale Neighborhood – Installation of a 30-foot by 80-foot mural at 1434 Wells Street. The mural will depict a wildlife scene in Fort Wayne at sunset and will include images of the confluence of the City’s three rivers and native flowers (representing the neighborhood’s history as a field of flowers). The grant is for $5,000.
- Nebraska Neighborhood – Installation of a new neighborhood marker that will also welcome visitors to the Historic West Main Street business district. The grant is for $3,900.
- Lafayette Place Improvement Association – Installation of a neighborhood marker at the intersection of Pettit Avenue and Calhoun Street. In addition to the sign, the neighborhood will add landscaping to this once blighted vacant lot. The grant is for $3,707.78.
- West Central Neighborhood – Fabrication and installation of more than a dozen pole-mounted signs throughout West Central. These will help to identify and celebrate the neighborhood. The grant is for $5,000.
- Southwest Area Partnership (Working with the Packard Area Planning Alliance) – Fabrication and installation of a historical marker that recognizes the former Packard Piano and Organ Company. The marker will be located along Fairfield Avenue in Packard Park where the piano company factory once stood. The grant is for $1,526.
- Oxford Community Association – Purchase and installation of a heating and air system for the Oxford Community Center. The community center is currently undergoing extensive remodeling in order to better meet the needs of residents in Oxford. The grant is for $5,000.
- Historic Fairmont Neighborhood – Installation of a mural on the side of Tasty Pizza (corner of Fairfield Avenue and Maxine Drive). The grant is for $5,000.
- Pettit-Rudisill Neighborhood – Replace an existing sign in a neighborhood-owned pocket park at the southeast corner of Rudisill Boulevard and Robinwood Drive. The grant is for $492.12.
- Historic South Wayne Neighborhood – Fabrication and installation of seven pole-mounted signs to celebrate and help identify the neighborhood. The grant is for $1,184.
- Williams Woodland (WWP) Park Neighborhood – Collaborating with Simpson United Methodist Church, WWP will transform an underutilized parking lot into a recreational greenspace called Peace Park. The grant is for $5,000.
- Mount Vernon Park Neighborhood – Fabrication and installation of two neighborhood markers. The grant is for $4,800.
Neighborhoods must complete the grant-funded improvements by October 2019.