Fort Wayne City Council has voted to move forward with nine projects funded by the Legacy funds.
The city received $75 million from the settlement with Indiana-Michigan Power.
Most projects are centered on economic development.
City council will set aside $30 million of that $75 million and spend the rest.
The projects approved just tonight will cost around $17 million. More projects will be proposed at a later date.
Here's a list of all the projects that'll move forward:
1. Riverfront Development Study
2. Higher Education Opportunity Fund Specifically opportunities for higher
3. Downtown Development Trust
4. Downtown Overpass/Underpass Beautification and Lighting
5. Ewing/Fairfield Conversion
6. Gateways-Front Door Fort Wayne Implementation
7. Trail Development
8. Youth Sports Community Assessment
9. McMillen Community Center
The most popular is the riverfront development. The most expensive and most controversial is the investment in higher education.
While most councilmen were in favor, a few were strongly against.
"I cannot justify taking the public's money and giving it to private businesses or not-for-profits and so far as it was presented as an economic development opportunity by definition you can't find a lower return of investment than giving money to a not-for-profit" says Fort Wayne Councilman Russ Jehl (R).
Yet Sister Elise Kriss, President of the University of Saint Francis was all smiles tonight.
"Already since the University of Saint Francis has owned the performing arts center, we've not had thousands of people come downtown that probably wouldn't have been there nor had the opportunity" she tells WFFT.
Council will take a final vote on these projects next week.
Additional project recommendations will be presented to council in the coming months.