September 26, 2023 - City Controller Garry Morr tonight presented the proposed 2024 budget for the City of Fort Wayne to City Council. The budget is balanced and includes a 4.6% reduction in the City’s tax rate.
Plans call for investments in neighborhood infrastructure improvements totaling $47.6 million when combined with enhancements through the Parks & Recreation Department and a southeast Fort Wayne plan through the Community Development Division. In addition, proactive investments in public safety will help ensure that Fort Wayne is the safest community possible.
2024 budget highlights:
*Continuation of commitment to neighborhood infrastructure projects with a planned investment of $44.6 million, which includes $33.2 million for streets, roads and bridges, $9.3 million for sidewalks and alleys, and $2.1 million for trails.
*The Fort Wayne Police Department will have its 68th recruit class that will keep the budgeted number of officers patrolling City streets to protect the public at 500. The FWPD will expand the drone as first responder program. The FWPD will also receive new hand-held radios for officers, as well as additional moving radars for increased traffic enforcement.
*The Fort Wayne Fire Department plans to add five new engines in the first quarter of 2024. The 96th recruit class is planned and will bring the number of firefighters to 375. Planned drone technology will assist fire investigators at emergencies to aid in gathering data and temperature analysis on hazardous materials releases, hot spot determination during large fires, and photo documentation.
*Investments in maintenance projects through the Parks & Recreation Department will total $3 million. There will also be improvements to Franke Park, Brewer Park, Packard Park’s master plan work will continue, and there are plans for renovations to the Mechanic Street Bridge at Swinney Park.
*The City’s information technology department will have cyber security as a focus
*Utilization of the State of Indiana’s allowable tax levy to assist in preserving funding to provide essential services
*The property tax supported budget including LIT – public safety, also known as the Civil City budget, totals $235.1 million. This budget does not include Fort Wayne City Utilities, which has its own budget funded by ratepayers.
Examples of positive indicators moving forward:
*Local assessed valuations on properties continue to rise – 11 consecutive years
*Steady revenue growth has allowed the City to maintain a very strong fund balance over the past several years
*Through strong fiscal management in partnership with City Council, the City has sufficient cash reserves to be able to respond to emergencies in uncertain times
The entire budget is available at http://www.cityoffortwayne.org/smartgov.
Tonight’s presentation can be found here.