Josh Parker and Kevan Biggs paid a visit to Fort Wayne City Council during its committee session May 11 to give an update on the Electric Works project.
The two appeared to be in good spirits as they gave council a rundown of what has been done and what still needs to be completed. Parker said that they have acquired enough leasing commitments to exceed the July 1 target goal, including a sizable commitment from Fort Wayne Community Schools to build a STEM-based school on the former GE campus.
“We’re close, and our optimism is undimmed,” Parker said. “Our passion is undiminished, and our commitment is unwavering.”
Parker took time to address the open letter penned by himself and other project representatives last month, explaining that they had felt as though the city had a “sense of complacency” about it when there is still much work to be done before the project is considered “a done deal.” They also applauded the city’s jump to action after the letter to try and pitch in as best as they can.
“The response from key leaders and the community at large is exactly what was needed,” Parker said. “I believe we’re back on track to move forward and realize the vision together.”
Parker made it clear that they have no intentions of coming before the city to request more public funds, and that they are seeking creative solutions to make sure the project delivers on all of its promises while still staying within the budget. Construction is still slated to begin this fall.
The topic of the Legacy Fund was revisited later in the council meeting as Paul Ensley, R-1st, introduced a resolution to set up a committee to conduct a study about the fund and determine a better course of action for the governing and awarding of those monies. Ensley also said that he would like to see better lines of communication between the council and the Legacy Fund board to ensure everyone is on the same page.
The resolution was favored by the council both in committee and regular session with an 8-0 vote.
During council’s April 16 meeting, Ensley insisted that the Legacy Fund missed the “threshold” remaining balance of $30 million. That prompted council members to delay discussion about a $500,000 Legacy Fund grant that would help Science Central with the construction of a planetarium. Council must approve the award.