City Council Seeking Answers On Electric Works Termination

Aug 6, 2020

Credit Rebecca Green/WBOI News

Despite the decision of the Fort Wayne redevelopment commission to terminate its economic development agreement (EDA) with RTM Ventures on the Electric Works project, the conversation may not be dead just yet.

5th District councilman Geoff Paddock expressed shock and surprise over the decision to terminate the EDA, and would like City Council to discuss it with RTM Ventures and city officials in two weeks.

“The decision was very swift and sudden and also involved undoing legislation that had been passed by other bodies might have been to the benefit of all parties to sit down and discuss it a little bit further,” Paddock said.

But 4th District councilman Jason Arp -- who also serves on the redevelopment commission and was part of the unanimous decision to terminate -- noted that five deadline extensions were granted since September 2018, and that the termination shouldn’t have shocked anyone.

“This deadline was not a secret, and it expired. And in that contract it said we have five days to cancel the contract after the last expiration, and that’s what happened,” Arp said.

Early Wednesday, Fort Wayne City Council released an official statement calling for a meeting between members of the redevelopment commission and RTM Ventures on Tuesday, August 18 at 5:30 pm.

In the letter, 2nd District councilman Russ Jehl said members “on both sides of the issue” should have an explanation of what’s happening with Electric Works.

He added, “Reasonable people disagree on the wisdom of Electric Works' public funding and whether it was time to pull the plug. Regardless, we all deserve a real explanation and a plan moving forward.”