In progress

The area at top in Electric Works will be home to Do it Best’s new headquarters.

At their weekly legislative meeting Oct. 8, Allen County’s commissioners approved providing Do it Best Corp. with $2 million to help fund the company’s move to Electric Works, the redevelopment project turning the former General Electric factory into a mixed-use development.

The company plans to move its headquarters from New Haven to Electric Works, on Broadway just south of downtown Fort Wayne. Recently Fort Wayne City Council also approved a $2 million grant to Do it Best, so the company will get a total of $4 million from local government.

“Early on when Do it Best was considering leaving Fort Wayne and Allen County it turns out that the Electric Works location proved to be a fairly decent landing spot for them,” Commissioner Nelson Peters said. “But that was only with assurances from Fort Wayne and Allen County that each would put $2 million into the bucket to help for the retention of close to 500 jobs, with the possibility of them adding 90 to 100 jobs.”

Fort Wayne City Council approved its portion Sept. 21. The payments will be spread out over seven years.

In other business:

• The Allen County commissioners approved rezoning 54 acres from A1 agricultural to I2 general industrial at their legislative session on Oct. 8. The location is at the southeast corner of Pleasant Center and Bluffton roads just north of the Bluffton Road/Interstate 469 interchange. A 673,000-square-foot industrial building is planned for the site. Senior Planner Michelle Wood said the name of the occupants hasn’t been shared yet, but it will be some type of food production facility. The property is just south of the Wal-Mart Dairy facility.

• Before the public comment portion of the meeting, President Rich Beck reminded the audience of the rules regarding public comment. Specifically, speakers are limited to 3 minutes. At the Oct. 1 meeting, several speakers went over the time limit, and one woman spoke for 8 minutes.

When Beck told her that her time was up she just kept talking. At that time Beck said if people can’t follow the rules the commissioners may have to quit taking public comment.

Most of the speakers were focused on their opposition to any kind of public or private mandate that would force people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Last week you supplied us with a document that obviously took some time to put together,” Beck said to the anti-vaccine people in the audience. He was referring to an ordinance they proposed that would protect residents from any kind of COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Beck said their attorneys were reviewing the proposed ordinance, and they hoped to have a response back in 2-3 weeks.

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