City Council approves Mayor Henry’s 2023 budget

Mayor Tom Henry (Twitter)

UPDATE (October27, 2022):

Despite a proposal that some called “inappropriate” regarding the mayor, Tom Henry’s budget for the city was approved Tuesday night at City Council’s meeting with little changes.

The plan, introduced in September, would invest $48.3 million in infrastructure. This is set to include $39.5 million for streets, roads and bridges, $6.4 million for sidewalks and alleys, and $2.4 million for trails.

Under the plan, the Fort Wayne Police Department will add 15 officers to bring the budgeted number of officers patrolling City streets to protect the public to 500. The mayor’s office also says that under the plan, Fort Wayne would see its first river patrol.

Also, included in the budget will be two new engines for the Fort Wayne Fire Department.

See the full budget highlights below

Mayor Henry released the following statement regarding the budget passage:

Fort Wayne continues to experience growth and success, and tonight’s passage by City Council of the budget for 2023 demonstrates we’re positioned for even better days ahead for our community. Fiscal discipline is critical as we work together to meet the needs, wants and desires of residents, neighborhoods and businesses. We’re looking forward to a productive 2023 with initiatives planned for every quadrant that will make a lasting and meaningful difference.

Next year will bring record investments for neighborhood infrastructure and a continued commitment to public safety and our parks. By working together, we’ll be able to continue the positive momentum that we’ve built in Fort Wayne as a point of destination to live, work and play.

 

ORIGINAL STORY:

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – Mayor Tom Henry said that Fort Wayne’s fiscal health is in a strong position as he and City Controller Garry Morr announced the proposed 2023 budget for the City of Fort Wayne on Monday.

The City of Fort Wayne released the following:

Plans call for record investments in neighborhood infrastructure improvements totaling $51.3 million when combined with enhancements through the Parks & Recreation Department and a southeast Fort Wayne plan through the Community Development Division. In addition, a continuation of proactive investments in public safety will help ensure that Fort Wayne is the safest community possible.

 

2023 budget highlights:
*Balanced budget with a 6.7% reduction in the City’s tax rate

*Continuation of commitment to neighborhood infrastructure projects with a planned record investment of $48.3 million, which includes $39.5 million for streets, roads and bridges, $6.4 million for sidewalks and alleys, and $2.4 million for trails.

*The Fort Wayne Police Department will add 15 officers to bring the budgeted number of officers patrolling City streets to protect the public to 500. The FWPD will integrate additional body cameras, and there will be a new military service bonus. The first river patrol will be introduced as a result of increased use of our waterways.

*The Fort Wayne Fire Department plans to add two new engines to replace Engine 12 and Engine 18. The 95th recruit class is planned, and the department will make improvements to its Speciality Team Response for rescue situations.

*Investments in maintenance projects through the Parks & Recreation Department to total $3 million, and a $10 million bond for the Franke Park Renaissance Plan.

*Utilization of the State of Indiana’s allowable tax levy to assist in preserving funding to provide essential services

*The property tax supported budget including LIT – public safety, also known as the Civil City budget, totals $215.4 million. This budget does not include Fort Wayne City Utilities, which has its own budget funded by ratepayers.

“Fort Wayne continues to experience growth and success, and the proposed budget for 2023 demonstrates we’re positioned for even better days ahead for our community,” said Mayor Henry. “Fiscal discipline is critical as we work together to meet the needs, wants, and desires of residents, neighborhoods, and businesses. We’re looking forward to a productive 2023 with investments planned for every quadrant that will make a lasting and meaningful difference.”

Examples of positive indicators moving forward:
*Local assessed valuations on properties continue to rise
*Steady revenue growth has allowed the City to maintain a very strong fund balance over the past several years
*Through strong fiscal management in partnership with City Council, the City has sufficient cash reserves to be able to respond to emergencies in uncertain times

Mayor Henry’s Administration will present the budget to City Council tomorrow evening. The budget is available here.

Fort Wayne has become a consistent award-winning community in multiple categories through a commitment to engagement, innovation, and performance. Fiscal responsibility is a best practices measurement that has helped Fort Wayne achieve national recognition.

Highlights of 2022 awards for the City of Fort Wayne:
*3rd best run city in the country and number 1 in Indiana by WalletHub
*Most affordable city in the country by Niche
*25th most affordable city in the country by Kiplinger
*7th top emerging housing market by The Wall Street Journal and Realtor.com
*Best place to live in Indiana and 48th best place to live in the country from U.S. News & World Report’s Best Places to Live rankings
*Named one of seven standout places in the country to retire by Kiplinger
*4th best minor league sports city by Livability
*8th best city in the country for new college graduates to start a career by Insurify