Regional Advantages

Renowned for its location, business climate and affordable cost of living, Northeast Indiana is consistently ranked best in the Midwest.

Industry Information

With access to 40,000 graduating students annually, join the impressive list of major employers leading Northeast Indiana’s top industries.

Business Leadership

Increasing personal income, growing the population and raising educational attainment. Join us!

About Living Here

Northeast Indiana is family-friendly, affordable and offers diverse opportunities to make it your own in Northeast Indiana.

Jobs & Internships

Join Northeast Indiana, a growing, vibrant community. From your next career to your next promotion, make it your own in Northeast Indiana.

Council OKs funds to attract new airline to city

March 12th, 2014

News Coverage:

Council OKs funds to attract new airline to city

By Cindy Larson of The News-Sentinel

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 12:01 am

Tuesday night Fort Wayne City Council approved an amended ordinance allocating $600,000 in funds that hopefully will attract a new airline to the city that would fly to the East Coast.

Last month Mayor Tom Henry's administration requested $600,000 from the city's Legacy fund to be used as part of a $2.5 million package to entice an airline to provide service between Fort Wayne International Airport and a northeast hub, likely Philadelphia or Newark, N.J. The money would be used to partially offset a carrier's risk of entering a new market.

The proposal was withdrawn when some council members balked at using Legacy funds for this particular use. The city's $71 million Legacy fund, created by the sale of the former City Light utility, is supposed to be used for "transformational" projects. A super majority of council -- six of the nine members -- must approve the use of Legacy funds.

Deputy Mayor Karl Bandemer and Scott Hinderman, executive director of the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority, were at the council table Tuesday night with a compromise acceptable to eight of the nine council members.

Bandemer asked for an amendment in which 50 percent of the funding, or $300,000, would come from the city's share of County Economic Development Income Taxes, or CEDIT, and $300,000 would come from Legacy funds over two years.

Before council voted, Hinderman made his case for the need for service to the Northeast, showing a map of the United States and the airports FWI now serves. "If you look at the map, obviously there's a hole in the Northeast," he said.

Two carriers are interested in supplying air service from FWI to the East Coast, Hinderman said, but they require a minimum revenue guarantee, which is what the $2.5 million package is for. The airport authority is trying to leverage a $600,000 grant it secured with money from the city, Allen County and local economic development groups.

Council voted 8-1 for the amended resolution, with Russ Jehl, R-2nd. voting against it.

The dispute over how to use Legacy funds, and how to define a "transformational" project, prompted Bandemer to tell council a vetting process needs to be established for future requests from the Legacy fund. He said some council members should be involved in that discussion.