Henry Reiterates Support For Electric Works, But Calls For Greater Transparency

Apr 12, 2018

Credit Greater Fort Wayne, Inc.

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry reiterated his support for the Electric Works development Wednesday, and his commitment to try providing $50 million of the $65 million in public funds needed to complete the first phase.

That said, Henry and members of City Council are calling for more transparency and information on the project before devoting money to it.

Henry says his working group focused on Electric Works is asking RTM Ventures about the specifics of its ownership structure, when and how funds will be invested, the timing of their needs and how dollars will be spent.

Assuming the city commits $50 million to the project, Henry has an idea for how to raise the remaining $15 million.

“Perhaps the additional $12 million they’re requesting could come with a partnership with the county,” said Henry. “I haven’t talked to them about that yet, but certainly their return to the City of Fort Wayne and the County of Allen requires a partnership from both entities.”

Previously, Electric Works said they had to break ground by July 1, or the project could die. Attorney Tim Haffner says that deadline “isn’t applicable,” noting the tax credits in question required funds to be spent completely by December 31, 2020.

With plenty of uncertainty still surrounding the future of the project. Henry notes that the city is in the process of developing a “plan B” for the General Electric campus. He says while his commitment is with Electric Works, “a good planner has a backup plan just in case” the project falls through.