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Association Board Supports City Council Increasing Local Income Tax to Rebuild Sidewalks, Maintain Alleys, and Develop Riverfront

June 22, 2017

The Historic Southwood Park Board of Directors supports a 0.15% increase in the Local Income Tax rate to support rebuilding sidewalks, alleyways, and the riverfront.  In neighborhood surveys, sidewalk repair is a foremost concern. On-street parking and the poor condition of alleys are other items of deep interest.  Southwood Park neighbors identify our proximity to downtown as an asset.  The rate increase addresses these points, so we encourage City Council to adopt the rate increase.

Why is this important?  Well-maintained sidewalks and alleys improve property values.  With constitutional property tax caps and a tight municipal budget, the Association Board of Directors feels this dedicated rate increase is the best way to ensure future City investments in neighborhoods.

At our May Association meeting, we discussed the tax proposal by members of City Council.  We voted that we would support the increase in the Local Income Tax as long as council set aside at least 30% of the money for neighborhood infrastructure.  At Wednesday’s Southwest Neighborhoods-Summit Alliance meeting, Councilman Dr. John Crawford outlined his plan to introduce a concurrent ordinance that will direct 1/3 of the tax increase to neighborhood infrastructure.  This meets our Board’s goal and is expected to raise $40 million dollars over the next decade for sidewalks and alleys.

Several Southwood Park neighbors who have asked to participate in the City’s 50/50 sidewalk cost sharing have been deferred until future years.  Demand far outstrips money in the City’s budget.  And the City has never really had a budget for alley replacement.  Many alleys are a century old and in poor condition.  If a block of homeowners does manage to pass a successful petition for repairs, the City only contributes 25%, if it is available at all, leaving bills of thousands of dollars.  If the ordinances pass, Councilman Crawford expects the City to pay for future sidewalk and alley work in full.

Historic Southwood Park is only a short bike ride from downtown.  We benefit from a rising demand for housing near downtown, and portions of the rate increase will be spent on Phases II and III of Riverfront redevelopment.

The plan for earmarking 1/3 for sidewalks and alleys, and 2/3 for riverfront is a good path forward.  A typical taxpayer can expect to pay $5.77 per month.  The Local Income Tax does not affect those on limited incomes, as Social Security is tax exempt.  If approved, the tax rate of 1.5% will still be below the state average of 1.59%. And money from the rate increase will NOT be spent on a downtown arena.

It is never easy to propose raising tax rates.  The elected proponents of this plan deserve credit for taking on a tough subject.

City Council will conduct hearings on the subject at 5PM on June 27 and July 11 at Citizens Square.  You can read some more on the subject from the perspective of Greater Fort Wayne, Inc. at

Steve McCord

President, Historic Southwood Park Board of Directors

Garage Sales Set for June 10 and August 5

June 9, 2017

The most-asked question every year is: “when are the Garage Sales?”

Southwood Park will have two again this year on June 10 and August 5.

garage sale sign

The Association will place ads in Fort Wayne Newspapers and post signs around the neighborhood.  You should post balloons or a sign in front of your house on those Saturdays to let buyers know you are participating.

Oakdale is having a Home Tour the same day, June 10, so we will hope for big crowds.

It’s a great way to make space in the garage or basement, earn a little pocket cash, and get out and meet your neighbors!  Or it could be the chance to snap up some great bargains.  In any case, it’s fun.  Good luck!


Dirt Day 2017

May 3, 2017

Every year since 1978, the Association has purchased quality soil for residents to use in their gardens, flower pots, and yards.  This is our 40th year helping Southwood Park gardeners!  On May 13th, we are having 12 cubic yards of quality tri-mix soil from Felger’s Peat Moss delivered.  All you have to do is take your wheelbarrow to the sites and get what you need!

But it has been very rainy this spring!  To avoid the Dirt Day from becoming “Mud Day”, we are pushing it one week later.  This event is typically held the first Saturday of May, but it will be the Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend this year.  If there is another weather-related delay, we will announce plans here and on Facebook.

Two locations are new this year. We are picking some of the wider street areas.  By popular demand, we will have a site in Section B this year! There will be three dirt pickup sites:

  • Indiana Avenue at Maxine Drive
  • South Wayne Avenue at Maple Grove Avenue
  • Westover Road at Crestwood Drive

Dirt is for Historic Southwood Park homes only!  No dumping.  Please take only what you need, and be considerate of other neighbors.


Earth Day Neighborhood Cleanup – April 22, 2017

April 18, 2017

We will meet at the Roundabout (intersection of Old Mill Road and Westover Road) at 1PM on Saturday, April 22, 2017. We will be doing light cleanup and mulching at various pocket gardens in Historic Southwood Park including: the Roundabout, Indiana Avenue Pillars, Arlington Avenue, South Wayne Avenue, Tacoma Avenue, Beaver at Pettit, Westover Road, and Sunset Drive.

Bring the following: gloves, water (if its warm out), a rake or other cleanup tools, and friends!

The Association will supply the mulch, yard waste bags, and other supplies. Please join us!

In case of rain, please watch our Facebook page! Our planned rain date will be Sunday April 23 at 1PM.

Where do Millennials Buy Homes? Here in Fort Wayne.

January 24, 2017

If you think that the people looking at homes for sale in Historic Southwood Park seem younger, you are on to something.  Fort Wayne was recently named the #7 city in the United States for Millennial home ownership.

We have known for a while that our neighborhood was a great bargain.  It turns out that Fort Wayne as a whole is.  And our neighborhood has many qualities that make it look and feel as authentic is it really is:  a park-like setting, historic home styles, and friendly active neighbors.

Read more here:

Executive Director of The Summit Interviewed on Public Radio

January 15, 2017

Melissa Dessaigne, Executive Director at The Summit was recently interviewed by WBOI’s Julia Meek.  Take a listen to the interview and learn more about collaboration taking place with our association’s neighbor and its partners.img_2575_0

Melissa Dessaigne. Photo courtesy of The Summit.

Surrounding neighborhoods and The Summit share a common goal of building a vibrant community network.

December 2016 Southwood Park News and Board of Directors Candidate Bios

December 27, 2016

Homeowners in Historic Southwood Park should have received mail from us this week.  In that mailing you would have found a copy of the newsletter, the ballot/survey on the reverse page, and the 2017 Dues Invoice.  The candidates’ bios are attached below so you can read a bit more on the candidates.

Please mail your completed ballots/surveys and the 2017 dues invoice by January 31, 2017.  Send them to Historic Southwood Park, c/o Above and Beyond Community Management, 507 Airport North Office Park, Fort Wayne, IN 46825.