Fort Wayne begins work on sidewalks funded through tax increase

Scenes like this will be increasingly common as the city begins sidewalk projects funded through a recent income-tax increase. (News-Sentinel file photo)

The first neighborhood sidewalk improvement project funded through City Council’s recent passage of an increase to the local income tax has begun along Bluffton Road from south of Reservation Drive to Dunkelberg Road.

Additional projects are planned for 2018, including Hessen Cassel Road from Oxford Street to Paulding Road; Decatur Road from Gable Road to Hanna Street; Winchester Road from Ardis Lane to Lower Huntington Road; Stellhorn Road from Sirlin Drive to Maplecrest Road; Reed Road from Stellhorn to St. Joe Center roads; North Clinton Street from Colony Drive to Auburn Road; St. Joe Center Road from Maplecrest Road to Arlington Elementary School; and St. Joe Center Road from Medical Protective Drive to Maplecrest Road.

“It’s critical to invest in neighborhood infrastructure projects that will have a lasting impact,” Mayor Tom Henry said in a statement. “By working together on proactive sidewalk initiatives, we’re meeting the safety and connectivity needs of residents and neighborhoods and positioning Fort Wayne as a point of destination to live, work and play.”

The 0.13 percent adjustment in the local income tax will generate $8.7 million per year to add new sidewalks to address areas of Fort Wayne Community Schools that lack sidewalks, improve alleys and move forward with phases II and III of riverfront development.