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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Safety net

"Flaws in the original business plan" is the polite, low-key way the troubles with the Public Safety Academy of Northeast Indiana are being described. It was supposed be a money generator, drawing police and firefighter students from all over. But the city is again being asked for $550,000 to plug the hole in 2011's $960,000 operating costs, and City Council members are worried they'll end up paying a half-million a year forever. This is presicely the question that needed to be asked and should be answered:

At what point do we say,


tim zank
Fri, 10/15/2010 - 9:42am

Maybe the city should ask Barry Real Estate for advice? Seems the city really trusts their fiscal expertise in public/private ventures, no?

William Larsen
Fri, 10/15/2010 - 7:52pm

Fort Wayne Airport had millions spent to make it an international airport. To pay for this landing fees based on gross weight were raised. Jets weigh more than commuters and so the thought was there would be higher revenues to pay for the millions. In reality airlines discontinued jet service with commuter planes saving them money and costing Fort Wayne Taxpayers millions due to stupidity of city council and Mayor Helmke.

City of Fort Wayne condemns the Southtown Mall which was paying property taxes. Buys it for a few million, tears it down, gives the land to Wal-Mart and others, provide tax abatement to these companies and uses some of the land to build a multimillion police academy that now is not self funding. Again costing the tax payer millions.

City of Fort Wayne lends money to Hawk to come to Fort Wayne International Airport. Hawk leaves leaving Fort Wayne Taxpayers with millions in debt.

City of Fort Wayne buys farm land off I-69 for GM plant. Provides millions in tax abatements with the hope of hiring laid off International Harvester workers. Instead GM transfers workers from other plants. The cost to taxpayers has still to be recouped. Then recently we went through the same repeat with GM where we give millions to help them out again.

Baseball has been very, very bad to Fort Wayne. We spent millions to build a baseball stadum and after it was paid for tear it down costing millions and build a replacement costing four times the original ball park price. Will the new stadium fund itself? I think not.

Jefferson Point is built and given tax abatements (TIFF). This becomes the petty cash of the Mayor to use as he sees fit or city council. This area receives police, fire and road work at taxpayers expense but do not pay a single penny to pay for until the TIFF expires. Again the taxpayers get stuck with the cost for decades.

The list I am sure is far longer. The fact remains that neither the Mayor, City Council or County Council have the smarts to invest taxpayer money. They should not be trying to make money, but perform the functions for which they were elected. We want smaller federal government, well I also want smaller local government as well.

Mitch Harper
Sat, 10/16/2010 - 10:29am

Leo - I was the only Council Member to vote against the $500,000 for the Public Safety Academy subsidy in 2009. The statements made then about turning the corner were unrealistic.

Leo Morris
Mon, 10/18/2010 - 10:34am

Good man!