Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Latest

Stadium steel under budget
Link (JG)

"Fort Wayne received lower-than-expected bids for its downtown baseball stadium, continuing the good news on the cost of the project.

The Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission on Wednesday opened three bids for structural steel to be used in the stadium centerpiece of the Harrison Square project.

Almet, of New Haven, was the apparent low bidder, submitting a base price of $1.7 million.

Greg Leatherman, executive director of redevelopment, said the estimate for the work was $1.8 million."


"The bid includes the steel that will serve as the frame for the entire $30 million baseball stadium. Almet’s bid also included building structures to provide shade along the first and third base lines for an additional $29,000."


"The stadium still has about 11 contracts left to be bid, including mechanical work and stadium seating. The bulk of those bids will be opened in February with a few others in March."


"A Bluffton company purchased five parcels of land near Harrison Square this month with potential plans for development. National Oil & Gas Inc. purchased lots near Jefferson Boulevard and Ewing Street. The company paid more than $400,000 for the land, which had an assessed value of nearly $225,000, according to property records. The company builds convenience stores that sell gasoline, but a company official was unable to comment Wednesday afternoon on the land deal."
Headwaters official revives towering plan
Private financing sought for 100-foot telecom masts
Link (JG)
"The recent controversy over a downtown mobile phone tower prompted Headwaters Park officials to dust off a nearly 20-year-old plan.

Geoff Paddock, park executive director, said he wants to find companies or people interested in financing two 100-foot towers at the park. He said the towers have long been a part of the park’s plan and would be placed on the cul-de-sacs on Barr and Calhoun streets."


"Paddock said the two stainless steel, cone-shaped towers could solve both needs by providing a tower in a pleasing manner. Although there is no firm cost estimate for the towers, Paddock said they could cost $500,000 each. The original plans called for observation decks, but Paddock said those would be eliminated because they could triple the costs of the structures and require staffing. He said he would like to see both built at once, but he would pursue plans for one if that was all that was possible."
Having it both ways
Link (JG)
"Mayor Tom Henry is right to ask the City Council to reconsider converting several downtown streets to allow two-way traffic. Examining ways to improve downtown traffic patterns is prudent given the flourishing development downtown.

Henry wants the council to revisit converting Wayne Street to two-way traffic between Van Buren and Clay streets, as well as Berry Street from Clay Street to Broadway."


"In 2006, the council defeated a request to convert Berry and Wayne streets downtown from one-way to two-way in a vote that split according to party affiliation. Republicans were looking at the costs then. Since then, the Harrison Square development has begun, creating a need to re-examine downtown traffic patterns, and four council members have been replaced."


"While council members should indeed examine the cost implications, they should give strong latitude to the city administration regarding the effect on traffic patterns. After all, it will be the Henry administration that runs the Street Department, is in charge of traffic signs and assigns police officers to traffic control.

City officials are right to revisit converting Wayne and Berry to two-way streets, but they should first concentrate on Calhoun Street."
Housing for ex-prisoners under debate
County weighs sites, cost, buildings for transitional programs
Link (JG)
"Details about where such a building should go and who would pay for it have yet to be worked out, Pflueger said.

A current proposal calls for building the structure on a parking lot across from the Allen County Jail on the west side of South Calhoun Street. But that location, adjacent to Headwaters Park and downtown, has raised safety concerns and questions that it could negatively affect downtown development."


"Officials are slowly getting a better idea of how much it would cost to build such a facility. The county could come up with about half the needed money, but paying for the rest could require a lengthy bond issue, something Peters isn’t sure the county can or will want to do, he said.

Construction and bonding could cost up to $15 million for the building, Peters said.

The size and what departments the building would house and the location could all affect the cost."