Providing critical services to the public is a top priority of local government, and there’s a unique initiative underway this year to make a lasting and meaningful difference.

The City of Fort Wayne has embarked on a project to relocate a number of functions to maximize resources and efficiencies for the public works and public safety divisions. To do this, we’ve purchased three buildings at the Avenue of Autos on Illinois Road to provide more modern offerings for services such as fleet, traffic operations, and our radio shop.

The result will be saving taxpayers nearly $20 million through this plan to purchase the properties and make improvements to fit our needs versus building new structures. We project the investment to be in the range of $14.88 million and will be able to be paid for from existing City funds. The investment represents a significant cost savings to taxpayers as building new structures would have likely cost $34.7 million.

Here is an overview of what is happening:

Fort Wayne’s Fleet Department will move to 633 Avenue of Autos. The Radio Shop and the Fort Wayne Police Department’s storage operations will move to 811 Avenue of Autos. The Street Light Maintenance, Sign Shop, and Traffic Signals departments will move to 505 Avenue of Autos.

Currently, the Fleet Department occupies a facility that was built in 1954 and last saw renovations in 1969. The Radio Shop is in a 1958 building that is over capacity and needs substantial repairs and upgrades. The FWPD storage facility is leased at an expense of $50,000 per year and is running out of space. The Traffic Operations Department’s Street Light Maintenance team occupies a facility from 1940 that needs substantial repairs and upgrades, and the Sign Shop and Traffic Signals facilities are in spaces built in 1920.

Right of Way Landscaping and the City’s Test Lab will move to a remodeled 325 East Murray St. The Test Lab is operating in a 1957 building on Lafayette Street that will be demolished and developed as green space. The Street Department will be able repurpose the current Fleet Department structure for indoor equipment storage. The current Radio Shop has been sold to a private developer.

This plan represents unique opportunities to enhance our ongoing commitment to provide excellent service to the public. We work each day to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. As a growing and thriving community, this effort will help move Fort Wayne forward with continued momentum.

To learn more, watch Public Works In Your Neighborhood at this link: https://acpl.viebit.com/player.php?hash=of8coqgQwL68