City government leaders today released financial information that demonstrates the City'€™s strong overall financial position and its capacity to fund Harrison Square and future community projects.

The City projects CEDIT revenues to increase between 2008 and 2017, which would allow for future projects beyond Harrison Square. The City'€™s cumulative CEDIT receipts over the next five years are expected to be at $111 million and $228 million over the next 10 years. The City expects to have $5 million in CEDIT over the next five years and $19 million over the next 10 years of available CEDIT-project capacity. CEDIT revenues are resources specifically designed to spur and support economic development initiatives.

Jefferson Pointe Tax Increment Financing (TIF) has a projected gross balance of $50 million, of which $25 million will be dedicated to Harrison Square. That would leave another $25 million for community-improvement projects within the Jefferson Pointe taxing district over the life of the district.

A TIF district is also in place for the North River area. The City has worked to strategically implement TIF districts that benefit the entire community. Last week, the City and County announced the formation of the North River Downtown Task Force to address the development of land just north of the city center and the St. Marys River. The area encompasses the OmniSource property north of the river and alongside its banks between North Harrison and Clinton streets.

The Community Revitalization Enhancement District (CRED) for downtown allows the City to capture increased sales and income tax dollars generated by new investment in downtown. CRED will assist in the public financing portion of Harrison Square.

The Community Trust Fund is projected to have a balance of more than $50 million over the next five years and nearly $74 million over the next 10 years that could be used for additional projects. The fund was established in the 1970'€™s when the City leased its light and power utility to Indiana and Michigan Power.

“Our commitment to fiscal responsibility and thoughtful planning has put our community in a positive position to gain and retain high quality jobs and businesses,” said Mayor Graham Richard. “We have a great opportunity to create a unique downtown development and regional destination. We also are prepared to capitalize upon additional catalyst possibilities to make Fort Wayne and the region more competitive.”

Harrison Square will be funded with 51% private dollars and 49% public dollars. No general property taxes will be used to finance Harrison Square. The public financing will come from a variety of sources including CEDIT, TIF, CRED, and City Cumulative Cap. Nearly 80% of the public financing comes from funding tools that are dedicated to areas in the city center and created for downtown revitalization. Only 20% of the public financing could be used to support other economic development activities citywide. CRED and TIF are geographic-specific financing tools.

“Our commitment to innovative, cost-effective government has saved taxpayers over $10 million since 2000,” said Mayor Richard. “These savings enhance the City'€™s ability to meet responsibilities as we work to create and attract jobs and businesses to keep Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana growing.”

The City is also developing strategies to meet police and fire pension fund obligations. There is no connection between downtown development and these obligations. By statute, geographic-specific funding tools, such as TIF funds could not be applied to resolve the public safety pension issue. The City of Fort Wayne is working to meet the pension fund obligations while still maintaining the sound fiscal health of the City.

The entire Harrison Square financing package will be presented to City Council at its April 17 meeting at 5:30 p.m. in Room 128 of the City-County Building.