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City Council authorizes purchase of 6 properties troubled by chronic flooding

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 3:43 am

Some homeowners in a neighborhood troubled for years by flooding might be able to sleep a little easier when inclement weather hits.

That is because City Council on Tuesday approved a measure that will see six properties -- four on Fernwood Avenue and two more on Dalevue Drive -- purchased by the city as part of a flood control project in that area in Waynedale.

The concept of the buyouts was first floated in April by Councilman Mitch Harper, R-4th, who originally suggested tapping the Legacy Fund (millions of dollars the city has due to the lease and sale of the former City Power & Light utility). Instead, interest from the County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) will be used to pay the $480,250 in buyout costs.

"Not using any money from the general fund, money that could be used for street repairs, yet still being able to address this...that's a win-win," said council President Tom Didier, R-3rd.

The six properties flood when the Fairfield Ditch overflows its banks and sewers back up, the result of which Harper saw first-hand.

"It's been doing this for years -- certainly since the 1950s -- and if anything, it's intensified over the years and it's becoming more of a certainty," Harper said. "It had gotten to the point where if it rains, homeowners in that area had to worry.

"This is the solution. The folks who live there no longer have to worry every time a weather forecast predicts bad weather, every time it rains," Harper said.

The bill, designated S-13-07-10, passed unanimously, with the addresses of the properties being purchased as follows: on Fernwood Avenue (6442, 6514, 6429, 6506) and on Dalevue Drive (3511, 3512).

As always, that and other ordinances can be found on the city's website at www.cityoffortwayne.org, under the header Departments, then the City Council link on the left side of the page.