The Department of Planning Services Economic Development Division is primarily responsible for the diversification of the local economy, expansion of the tax base, maintaining existing jobs and creating new jobs. The economic development division staff works closely with their colleagues on the land use planning staff in coordinating and planning for the location or expansion of industries in the community.
Economic development activities are approved and carried out by the Allen County Redevelopment Commission, the Allen County Economic Development Commission, the Allen County Board of Commissioners and the Allen County Council with the support of the economic development division staff. All activities of these groups are governed by state enabling legislation contained in Indiana Code. On behalf of the Board of Commissioners, staff administers the Economic Development Fund and negotiates incentive packages for new and existing industries. In recent years, the Redevelopment Commission has exercised its ability to construct water and sewer infrastructure throughout the county to promote industrial development through the use of tax increment finance. Staff process requests for economic revitalization area designation for property tax abatement (aka phase-in) for the Allen County Council as well as for the incorporated communities of Grabill, Huntertown, New Haven, Monroeville, and Woodburn. The Economic Development Commission and County Council decide applications for industrial revenue bonds that are processed by staff as well.
The Department of Planning Services division staff also works closely with its partners whose goals are to foster new and expanding industries in the county. Among these partners are the City of Fort Wayne, Greater Fort Wayne, Inc., WorkOne Northeast, and the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.