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In 2011, Mayor Tom Henry appointed the Legacy Task Force to set priorities for use of Legacy funds and gather input from the community about dollars should be spent. The Task Force evaluated and distilled hundreds of potential proposals from the community. The Task Force determined that priorities for Legacy funding should include:

  • 21st Century Talent (education, training, workforce development)
  • Economic Development (retaining, growing, and attracting business)
  • Entrepreneurship (new/start-up businesses, venture capital)
  • Infrastructure (services and facilities that support economic development)
  • Quality of Life (arts and cultural resources, community amenities, aesthetics)


Specific Funding Recommendations
The Legacy Task Force made four recommendations that are included in the Task Force Final Recommendation Report:

  1. Core Economic Investments – To secure a solid economic foundation for Fort Wayne's future, while aligning with and advancing the Fort Wayne economic strategy.
    1. Business Attraction and Retention. Investing Legacy funds in bold initiatives that directly create employment opportunities is a strong recommendation of the Task Force.
    2. Strategic Infrastructure.
  2. Downtown and Riverfront Development – To improve and develop two of Fort Wayne's great assets: downtown and its rivers.
    1. Catalytic Downtown Development Incentives. The Task Force supports the use of Legacy resources to attract private dollars and leverage investment for potential catalytic projects. Examples include:
      1. Aggressive support system for entrepreneurial and early stage companies
      2. Live/work space development
      3. Post-secondary education presence
      4. Development incentives
      5. Downtown transit
      6. Downtown commercial development
    2. Riverfront Development - Focusing riverfront development in the downtown area to promote the use of the rivers and the downtown area is a natural connection. The Task Force highlighted the importance of prioritizing riverfront planning initiatives and encouraging riverfront development projects. Catalytic projects noted include a large-scale development at the area known as North River.
    3. Arts and Culture - The Task Force supported a strong arts and culture presence in downtown to improve community identity, destination development, and attraction of residential development. Legacy should encourage innovation and creativity for a thriving and diverse downtown. Examples include:
      1. Youth arts programming
      2. Innovative art and technology
      3. Public art
  3. Youth/Prep Sports Initiative – Build on existing strengths to enhance sport opportunities for Fort Wayne youth/prep sports.
  4. Investment of the Trust Fund and Light Lease Settlement dollars – The continuation and modification of Community Legacy or the creation of a similar entity to ensure the protection and strategic investment of Legacy funds.