(STATEHOUSE) Feb. 25, 2009 - The Indiana House of Representatives passed House Bill 1604, which allows Allen County to better capitalize on investment opportunities in Allen County and Fort Wayne.
The legislation co-authored by Rep. Randy Borror (R-Fort Wayne) would allow Fort Wayne and Allen County to reorganize the Grand Wayne Center Convention and Tourism Authority as the Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvements Board.
"It is time our community had a mechanism to stage projects of importance in Fort Wayne and Allen County," said Rep. Borror.
The bill would transfer excess revenue from the supplemental food and beverage tax after bond obligations have been paid for the War Memorial Coliseum to the Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board.
The food and beverage tax generated nearly $5.5 million last year, and brings in about $400,000 more than the Coliseum's debt. That amount will increase to $2 million annually when those bonds are paid off in 2011. The entire debt is set to end in 2025.
"This isn't a matter of whether money should or shouldn't be spent at the Coliseum," said Rep. Borror. "With this board, we will have the ability to prioritize projects, maximizing tax dollars for the needs of our community."
The Capital Improvements Board will be three appointments by the county executive, three appointments by the mayor and one appointment elected by the six members of the board.
The legislation also calls for the executive director of the Grand Wayne Center and War Memorial Coliseum to submit an annual report to the Capital Improvements Board beginning in 2010.
House Bill 1604 will next be considered by the Senate.