Group to seek public input on vacant GE campus in Fort Wayne

In this Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, photo, a General Electric logo is displayed on a kitchen appliances in a H.H. Gregg store in Cranberry Township, Pa. General Electric Co. reports quarterly financial results before the market opens on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — A group of citizens working to figure out what to do with General Electric’s vacant Fort Wayne campus is set to seek input from the community.

Group organizer and City Council member Geoff Paddock said at a meeting Thursday that the group would host public discussions alongside economic development agency Greater Fort Wayne Inc. The group has met periodically for six months to talk about how to reuse the GE campus made up of 32 acres and 30 buildings.

The campus has been empty since February when the last workers left, The Journal Gazette reports. GE had a presence in Fort Wayne for more than 100 years.

Three or four alternatives for the campus would be presented to the public at three meetings. Small groups would talk about the alternatives and make recommendations.

Paddock said a report following the meetings would to be given to Greater Fort Wayne to start talks with GE. Neither the group nor the agency has had direct contact with officials from the company, he said.

Having Greater Fort Wayne involved in the process “gives our efforts a lot of credibility,” Paddock said. The agency is chipping in about $2,600 to pay for organizing public sessions, he said.

Helping organize the meetings will be the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Paddock said. No timetable has been set for the meetings, but center director Andy Downs said he “would be surprised if we’re still” at it in February.

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