Allen County Commissioners pledge up to $4.25 million for East Allen improvements

The Allen County Commissioners Friday approved up to $4.25 million toward a plan to secure $51 million for capital improvements in mostly rural eastern Allen County.

The New Allen Alliance is in the process of submitting a regional development plan called “East Allen’s Rural Revival” in order to receive designation as an Indiana Regional Stellar Community, which requires applicants to document their ability to fund projects included in the plan. The Commissioners’ pledge is for $1 million per year between 2019 and 2023. Earlier this month New Allen representatives also requested $4.25 million from the Fort Wayne-Allen County Capital Improvement Board, which will consider the request at a future meeting.

The Alliance and the Commissioners submitted a concept proposal of the plan to the Indiana Regional Stellar Communities Program in April and it was selected as one of six finalists to compete to be a Stellar Communities designee. Two of the six regions will be chosen. Funding available through the Indiana Stellar Program includes $4.5 million in Community Development Block Grants, $2 million in Rural Transportation funds, $800,000 in annual Housing Tax Credits, $250,000 in Owner-Occupied Housing Rehabilitation dollars and $35,000 for rural health. The Alliance is also seeking local funds, including $4.25 million from the Capital Improvement Board.

The New Allen Alliance is a coalition of seven communities that will also consider contributions. Proposed projects include trails, parks and downtown improvement projects.