A $10 million Legacy Fund grant to the Electric Works project was approved in a preliminary vote by city council Tuesday night.
The 6-3 vote effectively secures necessary local funding commitments for the first phase of the development, assuming nothing changes between now and the scheduled final vote on Oct. 23.
In a discussion that lasted nearly an hour, council members expressed thoughts and concerns with regard to the Legacy grant, and the Electric Works funding package at-large.
Second district councilman Russ Jehl said Monday he would vote “no” on this particular bit of funding. One of his key stipulations was that the Legacy funding should come in the form of a loan instead of a grant.
At-large councilman John Crawford, who voted in favor of the grant, said everyone would have preferred the funding to be a loan, but a grant was really their only option.
"If you were going to buy a house, this is the down payment. And you can't get a loan for your down payment, and then go tell the bank, 'Well I took out a loan for the downpayment, now I'd like a loan for the price of the house," Crawford said.
Jehl still voted no on the Legacy gift, but saw the writing on the wall and concluded with no hard feelings.
"Although we might disagree on the amount of public investment that's appropriate here, I just want to say to the developers, congratulations, welcome to Fort Wayne and I wish you tremendous success," Jehl said.
Jehl, Paul Ensley and Jason Arp were the three opposition votes