Local News

Redevelopment Audit: missing $1.8M property deal

(Photo Supplied / City of Fort Wayne)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): An internal audit of Fort Wayne’s Redevelopment department has come up with an undocumented $1.8-million real estate deal.

The results of the year-long audit, provided to WOWO News by City Councilman Jason Arp, found that the property in question couldn’t be found in the city’s “MUNIS” system, nor could it be found on two other property lists.

Also, during the review of Downtown Revitalization Grants, the audit found that one grant was awarded to someone who didn’t follow the terms of their contract with the city, leading to an overpayment of almost $20,000 by the City.

Arp has sent a letter to the State Board of Accounts, asking them to conduct an “expanded audit” of the department.

Fort Wayne City Spokesman John Perlich issued the following statement to WOWO News:

“The City of Fort Wayne is in receipt of a letter from Councilman Jason Arp. We appreciate his interest in assuring that the City of Fort Wayne’s Redevelopment Department and Redevelopment Commission continue to have a significant role in facilitating the current and future economic investments that are being made in our thriving community.”

“Fort Wayne continues to be recognized as a national leader in job and business growth, downtown development initiatives and neighborhood enhancements. To complement those efforts, the Redevelopment Department works each day to provide excellent services to the public including completing critical and needed public infrastructure projects like roadway improvements, intersection improvements, street lighting, trails, and sidewalks and has been an integral part of the positive momentum and investments we’re experiencing in our community.”

“Like the Redevelopment Department, all City Departments are committed to improving processes and finding more efficient ways to meet the needs of the public. Through our internal auditing process, we’re able to find ways to make corrections when needed and enhance current processes moving forward. There were four findings in a recent Redevelopment Department audit, all of which focused on the fine-tuning of specific internal controls, and the audit found no major concerns. The Redevelopment Department has already identified and is implementing the needed adjustments to internal controls in order to improve processes and procedures.”

“Councilman Arp noted several concerns in his letter. He noted that purchase of property to be used to attract business and jobs to the region was not booked as an asset in the City’s asset management system. This was a procedural error that has been corrected. Plans to redevelop that particular property along U.S. 30 and create job growth are being developed and will be brought before the Redevelopment Commission.”

“Councilman Arp was also concerned that the Redevelopment Commission has not met yet this year. A meeting has not occurred to this point due to difficulty ensuring a quorum. The next meeting is scheduled for February 27 at 4 p.m.”

“Councilman Arp also noted a concern that Redevelopment funds have been pledged to redevelop The Landing. While a Legacy Fund loan for The Landing has been approved by the Common Council, the Redevelopment Commission has not, contrary to Councilman Arp’s statement, taken any official action with regard to the Commission’s participation in The Landing financing. The Commission will address this issue at a regularly scheduled meeting of its members when The Landing’s developer requests the opportunity to appear before the Commission with a specific financing request.”

Read the full audit report and Arp’s letter below.

2016 Redevelopment Audit Report by Saige Driver on Scribd

Arp Letter to SBOA by Saige Driver on Scribd

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