Fort Wayne mayor outlines proposed 2022 city budget

Fort Wayne City Controller Garry Morr and Mayor Tom Henry address a news conference outlining the proposed 2022 city budget.

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry's administration will present the proposed 2022 city budget to the City Council on Oct. 5. That evening will also be the start of budget hearings.

Henry and City Controller Garry Morr outlined the budget at a City Hall news conference Sept. 22.

The property tax supported budget, also known as the Civil City budget, totals $189.7 million. This budget does not include Fort Wayne City Utilities, which has its own budget funded by ratepayers.

Plans call for record investments in neighborhood infrastructure improvements, totaling $41.5 million when combined with enhancements through the Parks & Recreation Department. The proposal also calls for continued investment in public safety.

2022 budget highlights include:

• Continuation of commitment to neighborhood infrastructure projects with a planned record investment of $38.5 million, which includes $29.1 million for streets, roads and bridges, $6 million for sidewalks and alleys, and $3.4 million for trails.

• The Fort Wayne Police Department will have 485 officers patrolling City streets. An academy class is planned to include 30 recruits. The FWPD will fully implement the body camera program. There will also be an expansion of the Air Support Unit and Downtown Bike Patrol.

• The Fort Wayne Fire Department plans to add two new engines to replace Engine 18 and Engine 12. An academy class is planned to include 21 recruits. A new Fire Station 14 will be built at the southeast corner of East State Boulevard and Reed Road. The construction will replace the existing Fire Station 14 at 3400 Reed Road.

• Investments in maintenance projects through the parks department to total $3 million.

• Use of the State of Indiana’s allowable tax levy to assist in preserving funding to provide essential services.

• The employee health insurance program will see a savings for taxpayers of $2 million.

“Our proposed budget for 2022 positions our community for current and future success. I’m impressed with how we’ve come together to continue to meet the needs of residents and businesses without interruption during a pandemic,” Henry said. “The state of our local finances is strong, and we’re committed to making lasting and meaningful investments to move Fort Wayne forward in a positive direction.”

Morr said 74% of the budget is personnel-related. Components include 69% for public safety, 10% for parks, 7% for public works and 3% for community development.

Morr thanked all the employees who helped to prepare the budget.

"I've met with the City Council in advance of today to get their feedback and we've heard loud and clear — infrastructure," Morr said. "As the mayor mentioned, and it can't be overstated, this is a record investment in our city."

The budget is available at http://www.cityoffortwayne.org/smartgov.

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